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£30,000 grant awarded for King George’s playing field

Woodland play trail illustration Published Wednesday, 07 February 2018

Wyre Council is delighted to announce that its application for a grant of £30,000 for improvements to King George’s playing field in Thornton has been approved.

The grant comes from the Lancashire Environmental Fund and will be used to carry out a first phase of work to the site to encourage greater use by the local community and visitors alike. 

The playing field forms a vast area of public open space at the heart of Thornton. Last year those who use the site and live locally were invited to share their ideas on how the area could be improved. Wyre Council then created proposals based on feedback that would allow more people in the local community to make use of the playing field. 

Dedicated to the memory of King George V, the playing fields were first formed in the 1930s before being further developed under the design direction of the famous Thomas Mawson practice in the 1960s. Today there's a floodlit pitch, children's play area, woodland area, pond, miniature railway and disused pavilion.

Subsequently, a masterplan was designed for the site with a number of features including a play, fitness and habitat trail around the site with a new main entrance off Fleetwood Road North, the installation of seating and picnic tables, environmental improvement of Royles Brook, improved drainage and planting of trees, shrubs, meadow areas and bulbs. 

An application to the Lancashire Environmental Fund has now been approved for a project to undertake the first section of the trail, a new entrance and to create some of the areas for play and gym equipment, seating and planting.

Councillor David Henderson, Leader of Wyre Council and Portfolio Holder for Street Scene, Parks and Open Spaces comments, “There’s so much we want to do in terms of improving King George’s playing field. We want to create an attractive green space that can be enjoyed by all. This funding is a great start and allows us to begin the first phase of work. This has been a community led project from the start and the improvements will enable more local people to make use of and enjoy the area.” 

Jenifer Phillips, Chair of the Thornton Action Group comments, “We have always had the improvements to King George’s Playing Fields on our ‘wish list’. We have been delighted to co-operate with Wyre Council in consultations and planning for the exciting developments which will transform the open space into a welcoming park with trees, paths, play and gym equipment, picnic areas, as well as improved sports pitches. Tranquil green spaces in a densely populated urban area will provide the opportunity for improved mental and physical wellbeing for adults and children. This is such a good news story!”

If there are any local businesses or residents who would like volunteer their time to help with planting work or caring for the woodland, or make a contribution towards further development of the site, please get in touch with the parks team at the council on or 01253 891000.

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