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New inclusive play equipment installed in Grove House Gardens


Rachel Connor


April 11, 2024


A project to install inclusive play equipment in the Grove House Gardens Play Area has created a new-look play area open to all.

The play area in Grove House Gardens, in the centre of Dunstable, has benefited from a major refurbishment thanks to Central Bedfordshire Council and the government-funded UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which the council manages.

This provided grant funding for new surfacing and nine pieces of play equipment including a wheelchair accessible roundabout, an inclusive seesaw and a sensory panel with ‘talk tubes’. The new installations are next to the existing play equipment to allow children of all abilities to play together.

The park was officially reopened on Friday 5 April by Cllr Mary Walsh, the council’s Executive Member for Planning and Waste, and Town Mayor of Dunstable, Cllr Liz Jones, and is already welcoming local children in a safe and inclusive space.

Cllr Walsh, also Chair of the UKSPF Local Partnership Group, said: “The addition of the inclusive equipment to the play area is a great asset to the gardens and to the whole local community. The new equipment now provides an inclusive environment for children of all ages that gives opportunities for both physical and social interaction, while they explore, learn and have fun.

Town Mayor of Dunstable, Cllr Liz Jones, said: “Providing additional inclusive play to the park in Grove House Gardens has been received exceptionally well. It’s wonderful to see so many children enjoying the new equipment, helping and supporting those less able to take part and engage in new activities. Thank you to officers of both Dunstable Town Council and Central Bedfordshire Council for making this happen for our community through funding of the UKSPF and Section 106 money.’’

Grove House Gardens are owned by Dunstable Town Council who received £40,000 from Central Bedfordshire Council’s UKSPF Community Grants programme, which funded the play equipment and a new accessible pathway from the car park to the Multi Use Games Area in Kingsbury Recreation Ground, Dunstable.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. It is positioned as the UK replacement of the European Structural and Investment Programme (ESIF).

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