A local park is now an up to date state of the art play area for local children, with fantastic play equipment including a fun zipwire and climbing frame, thanks to the efforts of local parents, The ‘ForHousing’ Group and Salford Council.
Boundary Road Play Park next to Boundary Road Church in Irlam has been in need of a revamp for many years and was in a sorry state. Paul Davis told the Local Mag, “Just over two years ago, my son and grandkids were bored and decided to go to the park, we always frequented Prince’s Park, but it is more than a mile away from where we lived, or a good 30 minutes’ walk.
We decided to go to the nearer Boundary Road Play area, as it was around the corner from where I live. But, when we arrived, I could see the disappointment in the kid’s faces, the park was dirty, with litter everywhere it looked abandoned, the play equipment was dated, rusty and vandalised. The park was reminiscent of the aftermath of Chernobyl back in ‘86. We spent around 15 minutes there before the kids wanted to leave.”
Paul added, “This got me thinking, we have or we could have a wonderful community park here and it was somewhere local for the kids to go, this park could be a ‘jewel’ in our community, a rough diamond that needed to be cut and polished.”
Emails were sent out to Salford City Council and local councillor’s the reply in short was the park did not belong to Salford anymore, it now was part of the package sold to City West, now ‘ForHousing’ with the housing stock.
Paul did not give up easily and went online and found out who the directors were and ‘bombarded’ them with emails on how they could come together and regenerate the park for the good of the community, to get children off their consoles and computers, to get the out and in the fresh air interacting with one another once again.
‘The Friends of Boundary Road play area’ was formed and with the assistance from Claire the Minister at the next-door Boundary Road Methodist Church, the group had a place to meet up each month for free, with tea and biscuits. Claire wanted and still wants the Church facilities to be used more and more by the community and the use of the building for their meetings really was a blessing.
At the start the Friends Group only had a trickle of local residents come through the doors to attend the meetings, but they were not put off by this and held further meetings involving ‘ForHousing’ and gave an explanation of what they would like for the community park and what it would mean to the local community. Local councillors were also asked to attend and promptly attended offering their support and advice.
Lots of funding ideas were discussed, when the then neighbourhood officer Selina Lundy, said she had placed a bid for financial aid from ForHousing, this bid came from a ‘community chest’ and she had managed to secure a large sum of money for the restoration of the park, the group were amazed!
Paul continued, “We then placed a poll on our Facebook page asking the parents and the children what they would like to see in their park. Four companies were then invited and asked to provide a plan and what equipment could be supplied within a budget, of how they could regenerate the park. The children of the community were invited into the meeting and they chose what equipment they would like to have in their park.”
Boundary Road Park now has a new lease of life, if it was not for a few dedicated members of our local community including Marcus Graham, Bev Jones, local councillors Peter and Tracy the Reverend Claire from the Methodist Church and ‘ForHousing’ the fantastic transformation of the Park would not have happened.
Irlam Councillor Tracy Kelly who is also the Statutory Deputy City Mayor and Lead Member for Housing told the Local Mag, “The Pocket Park at Boundary Road, is now open after being refurbished and then closed due to COVID 19, I am absolutely delighted to be involved with the Friends of Boundary Road play area, the group wants to ensure families make use of the park, and that the young people take ownership of facilities, ensuring a safe and secure environment for many more years of fun and enjoyment. A special thank you to ForHousing, Paul Davies, and all the families who have seen this project come to fruition.”