Matlock's exciting Hurst Farm Regeneration Project has received another funding boost - and the estate's youngsters will be the key beneficiaries.
The Project has successfully bid for £25,000 ‘Pocket Park’ cash from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help renovate Spider Park next to Caste View Primary School.
It means improvements to two existing pieces of play equipment and the installation of a new high energy group "car tyre swing". The scheme will also see the creation of a natural woodland play area next to the play equipment.
Two years ago your District Council successfully made a bid for Government funding to work with the community of Hurst Farm Estate in Matlock to build a long term regeneration strategy, joining forces with Derbyshire Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), Waterloo Housing Group and the Friends of Hurst Farm to make a successful £100,000 bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The initial funding helped the appointment of a regeneration manager to support a two year detailed feasibility study and masterplanning of the 600-home Matlock estate. The District Council also provided an additional £21,525 from its Revenue Grants Unapplied Reserve to fund the strategy.
Separately, housing association Waterloo Housing Group won £90,000 from the Estate Regeneration Fund to support the purchasing of specialist consultancy services to move forward the strategy for improvement of the estate.
In February this year the District Council approved the inclusion of £100,000 in its Capital Programme for 2019/20 for improvements to the 43 non-traditional homes on Hurst Farm.
Now the Hurst Farm Project has been named as one of only 83 schemes in the country to win Pocket Park funding.
Installation of the new play equipment is expected by May, in time for the summer, and trees for the woodland area have been donated by Matlock Town Council and planted by volunteers.
Estate regeneration manager Marie Schmidt (pictured above) said:
"All of the proposals for Spider Park came out of a consultation with residents, reflecting their priorities and aspirations. The work will create good quality play opportunities on the estate for the children, while creating a beautiful wildlife-friendly community focused green space for residents.
"I hope it sends a physical message to residents that the regeneration project is bringing in money to realise their priorities."
The Friends of Hurst Farm and Castle View Primary School are committed to create forest school activities on the estate, and Marie added:
"As part of this grant we have funding for 3,500 native wildflower bulbs such as bluebells, wild daffodils, wild garlic, snowdrops and anemone, which we will underplant in drifts under the trees.
"This is to allow wildlife interest, support the native flora, allow local children access to these English species and to grow these patches as colonies that will enable us to transplant bulbs over time to enrich the woodland around Hurst Farm. The planting will happen in September 2019 in conjunction with the school."
Future plans for Spider Park include the planting of rare heritage variety fruit trees, to replant an old orchard, plus the creation of a larger meadow, a community garden and extended play area.
- For more information visit the Project website