Southwater play area reopens

Horsham district councillors John Bailey, John Chidlow, Cllr Claire Vickers (chairman of HDC) and Jonathan Chowen. Local children are also pictured enjoying the refurbished play area at Southwater Country Park.

Horsham district councillors John Bailey, John Chidlow, Cllr Claire Vickers (chairman of HDC) and Jonathan Chowen. Local children are also pictured enjoying the refurbished play area at Southwater Country Park.

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REPAIR works have been made to the children’s play area at Southwater Country Park and the area is now open and safe for children to use.

Horsham District Council has carried out a large amount of repair works to the fire damaged play area to ensure the site is safe for children to make use of for the remainder of the school summer holidays.

Repair works were needed for the play area following damage from an arson attack which took place at the end of April.

These included repairs to the bird’s nest climbing equipment on top of the mound and the safety surface underneath.

Some of the final repairs, such as replacing damaged steps, are still awaiting completion as these need to be custom made. The Council expects these to be completed by autumn.

Cllr Jonathan Chowen, Cabinet Member for Arts, Heritage and Leisure at Horsham District Council, said: “Funding for the play area originally came from Lottery funding, not from the district council tax payer.

“We have had a phenomenal response from the local community with many people being incredibly supportive; thank you to everyone concerned for this.

“The repair works are estimated to be in the region of £24,000 but we are currently in the planning stages of a community led fundraising event to raise money for the play area.

“A number of supportive local residents are leading the fundraising effort plans and hope that, if enough local people can be encouraged to join in, we can end up with an even better and even more adventurous play area at Southwater Country Park for visitors to the Horsham District, local residents and in particular residents of Southwater and their families to enjoy for many years to come.”

Anyone who wants to get involved in fundraising for the new play area is invited to send an email to contact@horsham.gov.uk or call Horsham District Council on 01403 215257.