Flitch Green play park is rescued as community steps in after failed safety test

PUBLISHED: 08:56 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:56 13 June 2019

The Flitch Green playground has been closed since Thursday. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The Flitch Green playground has been closed since Thursday. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Generous residents have stepped in after a failed safety inspection led to the closure of a children's playground.

The playground, in Flitch Green, is owned by the Flitch Green Charitable Trust (FGCT), which decided to close the facility last Thursday after it failed a safety inspection.

However, in just four days, members of the public raised £2,000, which will allow the trust to pay for repairs, and once they have been completed, reopen the park.

Richard Godsell, vice chairman of the FGTC, said in a Facebook post on Monday: "We have reached our target of £2,000 towards the repairs and improvements to the playgrounds. This would not have been possible without all of you who have donated over the past few days. The response has been truly exceptional and shows just what we can achieve as a community when we come together."

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The playground, community hall, sports areas and playfields in Flitch Green are owned and operated by the FGTC, rather than Flitch Green Parish Council. The trust relies on fundraising events to pay for costs not associated with the day-to-day running of the facilities.

Problems at the playground, first opened three years ago, were caused by wear and tear, and possible misuse.

Speaking to the Broadcast, Mr Godsell said the trustees are "gutted" that the park is closed. He said: "It gets so much use by the local children. My children play there most days after school. It is a real focal point for the community."

The costs of repairs will be £4,000, only half of which the trust can afford to pay for. Consequently, on Thursday the group set up a fundraising page online and the donations poured in.

Additional funds raised last year, for non day-to-day running costs, "have all but gone" on repairing vandalism and deterring further damage, according to the fundraising page.

Mr Godsell admitted the trust had to "eat" into their emergency contingency fund, but hoped they would be able to top it up after their upcoming outdoor cinema event.

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