Plans to create a new park for the village of Gotham have finally come to fruition.
The journey has taken two and a half years, which started when a small voluntary group of parents and grandparents came together in March 2017 to start this major project.
The six ladies have managed to raise an astonishing £102,847.
Gotham’s 2,000 residents include a significant number of pre-school, primary and secondary-aged children and young people.
Families also come into the village on cricket and football matchdays, adding to the number of youngsters likely to use the new facility.
The plan was to create a park where all ages could enjoy it, including the older generations.
The project began by asking what the parents and children would like to change, improve or add to the park area.
Questionnaires were sent out along with park layouts for the children to illustrate their creative ideas.
The Park Project’s fundraising efforts have included a super heroes walk attended by Batman, a summer afternoon tea, Halloween and summer discos, Christmas dinner dance, Santa ramble and Easter egg hunts.
Financial support has also come from Gotham Parish Council, Gotham Memorial Hall Trust, Gotham Gala, British Gypsum, Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, Awards for All, East Midlands Airport, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Nottinghamshire County Council – Local Improvement Scheme, and Wren.
Wren is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
There have also been several generous donations from private individuals.
The Park Project say there are extremely grateful for the contributions made by the local supermarkets; Morrisons in Clifton and Gamston, Sainsbury’s in Castle Marina, Asda in West Bridgford and Tesco in Loughborough.
Speaking on behalf of the Park Project Committee, Jenny Howard said: “The project would have been far more difficult without everyone’s support and help at all the events.
“The project’s appreciation is extended to everyone for contributing, for attending an event, volunteering at events, a monetary donation or writing a funding application. Everything achieved along the way has been greatly valued.
“We are delighted that the majority of our funding applications have been successful along with other fundraising and generous donations.
“This is a project that has brought villagers together for a purpose and that is to ensure our children have a modern, attractive and safe place to play in the centre of the village.
“Our fundraising efforts have paid off and I can’t believe we made well over our target of £75,000. Thank you doesn’t seem to cover how grateful we are to everyone.”
Andrew Brown, local councillor for the Leake Ruddington area, presented a cheque for £23,010 which will help fund the second phase of the park installation.
He said: “This project is a fantastic example of how county council funding is investing in communities.
“I look forward to seeing phase two of the new play park being created as it will be a fantastic addition for Gotham and I’m sure it will prove to be hugely popular.
“I hope it will encourage more youngsters – and adults – to get out and enjoy the great outdoors with a wonderful array of new equipment planned.
“Many thanks to the local community for their time and dedication in helping get things to this exciting stage.”
The park has been installed by Kompan UK Ltd and is split into two areas; a toddler area for the under-9s and a junior area.
The Park Project requested ideas and plans for the park from local children and adults and they received an extensive wish-list.
Having exceeded their original target of £75,000, the project has been able to buy two new goals ends, a trim trail, a basket swing, a new toddler climbing frame, a spinner bowl, a trampoline, a supernova and a wide slide for the grass mound, which makes it more accessible for all.
A popular request was for a zip wire, which has also been installed and so far, they have also purchased one piece of adult exercise equipment.