Ilkley’s new playground is officially opened

Councillor Mark Stidworthy officially opens Ilkley’s new Riverside Park playground. (Photo: Soul & Co)

An official ribbon-cutting event at the new playground in Ilkley’s Riverside Park recognised the generous donations of sponsors who, together with local residents, have helped the Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks group raise just over £47,000 towards the much-needed new playground.

Sponsors who contributed significant amounts included Ilkley Town Council, Marshall Charitable Trust, Elite Accountancy Services, NG Bailey, The Rotary Club of Ilkley, Ilkley & Wharfedale Rotary Club, Betty’s, Tesco and Westville School.

Phase 1 of the renovation costs was covered by £150,000 from Bradford Metropolitan District Council Parks & Green Spaces, which replaced the majority of the play equipment including the toddler and sensory play area. The generous contributions from sponsors meant additional pieces of play equipment, safety surfacing, picnic benches and ground graphics could be added to the design.

Parents have commented on the excellent facilities and how much new play equipment there is to explore, and children have been enjoying the two new zip-wires, pirate ship and giant WharfeWave swing since it was installed in early summer.

Ed Duguid, Chair of the Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks group commented; “We are absolutely thrilled with the support we have received from sponsors and it has enabled us to significantly upgrade the play provision in the park. We now have a playground with a full range of equipment, which provides fun for all ages, and importantly is also safe and fit for purpose. It’s a playground we can be proud of, that enhances the park and town and provides a great facility for local and visiting families. Thanks also go to our Playground Team; Nicola Holmes, Aimee Rawson, Dominique Cook, Pauline Munro and Clare Smith, who did a fantastic job coordinating the planning, fundraising and liaison with both Bradford Council and the contractor.”

The decision was made to retain the existing space net in the playground as it is well-liked and still has a lot of life left in it. Friends of Ilkley Riverside Park will be looking at a longer-term plan to ensure on-going improvements in the playground, including the replacement of the space net when that becomes necessary. If you would like to find out more about the work the Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks are doing, become a member or contribute to their fundraising appeals, you can read more on their website: www.friends-of-ilkley-riverside-parks.com

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