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£42,500 of play equipment for older kids in use at last
BIG kids have their own play equipment for the first time at a recreation ground in North Oxford.
New swings, monkey bars and a seesaw were officially opened at Aristotle Lane.
It is now more than a decade since a newly-built, £37,000 skate park was closed at the park after residents branded it a noise nuisance.
Community group Friends of Aristotle Recreation Ground (FOAR) spent four years raising £42,748 for new equipment which aims to cater for older children.
Until now the park has only had swings aimed at very young children.
Hugh Finnerty, 15, who lives on nearby Waterside, said: “It looks fantastic. It is just what kids of my age need.”
The extra swings, a basket swing, monkey bars and a carved seesaw were unveiled in a ceremony with teachers and pupils from nearby St Philip and St James and St Aloysius primary schools.
Most of the money for the new equipment, £33,748, was donated by WREN, a not-for-profit group which awards grants to community projects from funds donated to the Landfill Communities Fund.
Members of FOAR gave £9,000.
Secretary Rosanne Bostock said: “We would like to thank our kind friends and donors who have made this possible.”
The group includes members of the community and councillors and is backed by Oxford City Council’s parks and open spaces department.
For the project FOAR carried out consultation with children, parents and residents about what they would like to see and worked with contractors Groundwork South.
Group chairman Chris Lavy, of Canal Walk, said: “Extensive community consultation has given us a very hearty endorsement for the equipment which compliments the grass area dedicated to football and ball games.”
City councillor Mark Lygo, board member for parks, sports and events, said: “It is great to see the community working together to improve a much-loved space.
“FOAR should be proud of their achievements.
“I hope this may inspire other residents, groups or businesses to think of they can support their own park, play area or green space.”
In the past four years, FOAR has also provided new benches, picnic benches and planted trees and bulbs at the park.
The group now hopes to install a table tennis table.
In 2002, a £37,000 skate park at Aristotle was closed a month after it opened when tests by a resident revealed noise levels amounted to a statutory nuisance.