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£348,500 to be Invested in Reading Parks

After proposals which have been submitted this week, parks across Reading are set to be improved, worth almost £350,000.

The plans are going to the Council’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee on Wednesday 18th November and these suggest spending £348,500 - starting at the end of this year and running to 2017 - on recreational areas across the borough.

The plans recommend improvements to a number of parks across the borough. These include:

•Arthur Newbery Park, £51,600, starting spring 2016. One of Reading’s oldest parks in West Reading, proposals include extending the toddler area, installing new equipment and creating a picnic area.

•Emmer Green Recreation Ground, £11,700, starting winter 2015. Proposed improvements to gaps in the hedge boundary around the park, along with tree and vegetation planting to encourage more wildlife and biodiversity.

•John Rabson’s Recreation Ground, £5,300, starting autumn 2016. The largest area of open space in south Reading, including five adult grass football pitches. Improvements to drainage and to the sports area to reduce waterlogging and increase the number of football games that can be played.

•Kensington Road Recreation Ground, £3,000, starting spring 2016. Adding new park furniture.

•Palmer Park, £27,100, starting summer 2016. Further improvements to the cycle track.

•Robert Hewett Recreation Ground, £5,500, starting winter 2015. Laying a new rubber based surface to improve eroded areas of the sloping banks where children play.

•Victoria Recreation Ground, £2,500 starting spring 2016. Adding new park furniture.

•Waterloo Meadows, £20,300, starting 2016. Investment is needed to improve the riding surface of the existing BMX track.

•Kennet Island/Abbey Quarter, £111,900, starting autumn 2016.

Between 2012 and 2014, a number of previously approved schemes have been completed, with a few still on-going. The on-going schemes listed below also include some new funding:

•Lousehill Copse, £14,500, ongoing work to improve footpath surfaces. Enlargement of the existing pond, which was carried out to reduce the risk of flooding and a new dipping platform constructed earlier this year. New work will include coppicing and the creation of two new ponds.

•Prospect Park, £24,100, ongoing work in Reading’s largest park. Listed as Grade II in the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and a landscape of national importance. Work will include new tree planting and external boundary improvements.

•Thames Parks, £71,000. The stable block at Caversham Court has undergone significant refurbishment. New improvements will include upgrading the moorings adjacent to Tesco and improvements to the play facilities within Christchurch Meadows.

Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading Lead Member for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said:

“Where we live, and the quality of our immediate environment has a huge impact on our quality of life and wellbeing. This includes the physical environment – the cleanliness of our streets, places for children to play, green spaces. The Council is committed to keeping the town clean, safe, green and active.

“Subject to approval and consultation, this proposed programme of improvements will provide a fantastic boost for recreational facilities all over Reading. We want residents of all ages to enjoy using and to benefit from using our open spaces, and I hope this will encourage many more to do so.”

The full HNLC Committee report can be viewed here: http://www.reading.gov.uk/article/4731/Housing-Neighbourhoods-and-Leisure-Committee-18-NOV-2015

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