Express & Star

More than £150k to be spent on improving two parks in Stafford

More than £150,000 is set to be spent on improvements to two Stafford parks.

Residents, councillors and Borough Council Staff at Yelverton Park Baswich, Stafford

A play area off Yelverton Avenue in Baswich will be upgraded while repairs will be carried out to facilities at the “destination park” in Wildwood.

Almost £130,000 for the work has come from funds received through the development of the former Staffordshire Police headquarters in Baswich, which has now become a housing estate. And a further £21,000 came from the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2018/19 for enhancing open space.

On Thursday, Stafford Borough Council cabinet members approved the spending of the money to carry out the park improvements. Councillor Gillian Pardesi, cabinet member for leisure, said: “I’m delighted to present this report today.

“Approval of the recommendations will mean work can start in enhancing the Yelverton Park area as well as improvements to Wildwood Park. Delegating authority to progress with the work will mean that we will have two parks that we can continue to be proud of and for our residents to enjoy.”

Council leader Aidan Godfrey said: “It is good news. I’m sure the park will be well-used.”

The decision was also welcomed by Baswich councillor Ann Edgeller, who attended Thursday’s meeting and has been looking forward to more improvements being made to Yelverton Park. In 2022 she joined fellow Baswich councillor Marnie Phillips and residents to plant trees in the park and spoke of plans to create a new pathway and install more play equipment.

A report to Thursday’s cabinet meeting said: “The play facility off Yelverton Avenue was last refurbished in 1996 with a further small investment received in 2010. The facility is in need of refurbishment and enhancement.

“The priorities identified for the site are upgrading the existing play facilities and associated surfacing, installation of a new circular pathway around the boundary of the open space (and) ancillary items including picnic benches, seating, bins and distance markers. Officers have undertaken soft market testing which indicates that the budget for the works is sufficient to cover the estimated costs at Yelverton Park.

“The additional monies available from the DCLG Grant will be targeted at minor improvements to Wildwood Park. It was upgraded to a Destination Park in 2014 and has proven extremely popular with users.

“As the park is now 10 years old and continues to attract large numbers, the age and constant wear has resulted in the need for investment to improve the park experience. The funds allocated to Wildwood Park will be used to replace and repair worn areas of safety surfacing within the play area and provide an inclusive picnic bench on the site.”