A community has joined together to celebrate the official reopening of a ‘pocket park’ designed to help ensure people of all ages have access to attractive green space and opportunities for natural play.
The Argyle Place Pocket Park, in Barrow, has benefited from a host of new trees and plants, reclaimed seating and paving, stepping stone trails, play equipment made from reclaimed materials, a games area and planters.
Children from Years 5 and 6 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, in Barrow, were on hand to reopen the space which is already proving popular with a range of people across the area who can now enjoy time outdoors in pleasant surroundings.
Westmorland and Furness Councillor Dyan Jones, Cabinet member for Customer and Waste Services, said: “Time outside in the fresh air surrounded by trees and plants can provide a significant boost to people’s health and wellbeing, not to mention the benefits for children of being active and able to play.
“The community has helped to shape the design of this wonderful community asset which I hope will help to bring to people together for many years to come.
“Now, local residents and school children will already feel connected to this wonderful place which has the potential to make a big difference to so many.”
The transformation, which was managed by Westmorland and Furness Council, took place thanks to a grant of £85,000 from the Government’s Levelling Up Parks Fund which aims to create new or significantly refurbished green space in urban areas that need it most.
The school pupils took part in workshops to help design the scheme, with their suggestion for a football wall now incorporated into the completed pocket park. The wall itself has been brought to life by Morecambe Bay graphic artist Molly Bland through the arts and culture organisation BarrowFull. A floor mural featuring Molly’s work is also in the process of being installed.
Further engagement with local residents and community groups also took place thanks to a series of drop-in sessions and events to ensure as many people as possible had the opportunity to influence the refurbished pocket park.
The design was then finalised by Layer Studio Architects with IT Shaw, a groundwork services company from Ulverston, undertaking the work on site.
Jeni Marshall, Deputy Headteacher of Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, said: “It was wonderful to be involved with the Argyle Place Pocket Park project.
“We work hard as a school to help support and improve our community and it is so exciting to see positive changes that our pupils have had a direct impact on.
“They were so happy to see their ideas come to life and know that it will be there for years to come for everyone to use. Thank you so much for involving us and hearing our children’s voices.”