Communities in and around Corsham rally for children’s areas

This Is Wiltshire: Colerne’s skate park opens to youngsters                (dv1482) By diane vose Colerne’s skate park opens to youngsters (dv1482) By diane vose

Young people have two new places to spend their summer holiday, thanks to campaigning by community groups.

Corsham’s Katherine Park Residents’ Association spent three years designing and managing the construction of its new children’s play area, which has already been drawing the crowds.

Chairman Matt Harpham led the campaign to build the park on the field off Freestone Way.

He said: “There weren’t any plans to do anything. We knew there were two pots of money for facilities, but beyond that we hadn’t heard anything from Wiltshire or the town council, so we took it on ourselves, which apparently is unprecedented.

“It has been rammed full, and there were a lot of people out and about who never really thought about going up to the park.”

The park was part-funded by the developers who built the new estate, but residents campaigned for extra grant funding to ensure they got the facilities they wanted, which include disability-friendly play equipment.

Mr Harpham said: “I have been on-site through all the construction to be there if they needed to ask questions. It has become my baby in the end, which has been fun.

“It’s the kind of thing you hope will encourage more people to volunteer to do more about the estate.”

Meanwhile, in Colerne, skaters taking over the village’s roads inspired the campaign for a new skate park at the recreation ground, which was recently completed after two years of fundraising.

Following a presentation to the parish council by local children, a total of £45,000 has now been raised for the project.

While its official opening was rained off last Saturday, the park has already proved popular.

Skate park committee chairman Mike Griffiths said: “Everyone from around the area has been coming to it, we normally see around eight to 10 kids. It’s deemed quite good for scooters, so people come from Corsham, Chippenham and Melksham to use it.”

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