Play area remodelled after three-year fight for new equipment

Work begins on redeveloping Fishersgate Recreation Ground.
Work begins on redeveloping Fishersgate Recreation Ground.

Work has finally begun to revamp a recreation ground in Fishersgate after more than three years of planning and campaigning from residents.

The £123,000 project to create a new play space for children and young people on West Road started on April 11 with the park open in May.

Volunteers from Friends of Fishersgate Rec (FoFR) have been raising funds to replace 20-year-old play equipment at the park since 2012.

Chair of Friends of Fishersgate Rec, Claire Fletcher, said: “There are approximately 500 under-sevens living within walking distance of the Rec. This new play area will provide them (and older children) with a fun, challenging and exciting space where they can meet friends and enjoy themselves.

“After three years of extensive consultations and patience, the local people cannot wait to see it complete, and neither can we! We have plans to raise even more funds and install more multi-sport facilities to benefit every age and ability.”

Plans for the recreation ground include a long timber zip wire, a sensory play area, a wide slide on a soft surface and a unique shark’s head climbing feature. The project will also see trees and shrubs planted and bird and bat boxes installed.

Funds were comprised of £80,000 from Adur District Council, a £32,870 Landfill Communities Fund grant from The Veolia Environmental Trust and £10,000 from the Shoreham Harbour Regeneration Board.

The need for play facilities was first raised through the Neighbourhood Panel in 2012. Consultations in schools and the wider community contributed to the eventual design.

Leader of Adur District Council Cllr Neil Parkin said the project was ‘a timely step in the regeneration of the Fishersgate area’.

Vice chair and treasurer Tonie Obee added: “This has been a long time coming with the three of us working in our spare time and with huge support from PCSO Sandra Heaton and Adur District Council. We are very pleased to see the first phase of our plans coming to fruition.”