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Playtime can begin after three-year wait
6:50am Tuesday 5th June 2012 in News
IT may have taken three years, but youngsters in an Oxfordshire village have finally been given the chance to have a whole heap of fun.
The people of Appleton have been trying to get a play area for their children since 2009 and this weekend marked the successful conclusion to their campaign.
A new £100,000 play area was opened on Saturday as part of the village’s Jubilee celebrations.
Becky Bradbrook, who has been part of the campaign to get a play area, said: “I cannot quite believe we have eventually got there.
“It is a really beautiful space and something for the whole community, not just a playground for young children.
“There is a big grassy area that hopefully will be used for village events and will become an asset for the whole of Appleton.”
As well as play equipment for children, the area also has balancing equipment and cross trainers to help adults keep in shape.
Some of the finishing touches are yet to be put in place, including a 12-seater picnic table and a wrought iron entrance gate.
Villagers hope the play area will be completed in the next few months. In total, it cost more than £100,000 to put in place.
The scheme had been hit by government cutbacks in 2010 when the Department for Education’s play builder programme was frozen.
But residents were determined to get their play area and so carried on fundraising.
Eventually they were given £47,000 from the revived Government scheme as well as £50,000 from WREN, which gives money to communities near landfill sites.
Natalie Crawford, who has led the campaign, said: “It has been three years of hard work and a big team effort.
“We are all absolutely delighted.”
The play area, which has been named Jubilee Park, is in a field in Badswell Lane and has been leased from a local farmer.
Sovereign Vale Housing Association has donated £5,000 towards the scheme while the Appleton community shop gave £1,000.
Three-year-old Joseph Lappin, from Southmoor, said: “I really enjoyed it. I liked the slide and the swings best though.”