The Mersey Gateway Project

Bridge project funds new community play area

August 12, 2015LornaNews

Construction workers from the Mersey Gateway Project are putting their skills to good use this summer by building a brand new community play area in Halton.

West Bank Community Centre in Widnes is being gifted a new outdoor play area – worth approximately £26,500 – by Merseylink and its supply chain.

The construction consortium has pledged £15,000 from the project’s regeneration fund to finance and build the new community facility.

Staff from Merseylink, its subcontractors and West Bank Community Centre joining the children from Jiggys Childcare to celebrate the start of the construction of their new play area.

Staff from Merseylink, its subcontractors and West Bank Community Centre joining the children from Jiggys Childcare to celebrate the start of the construction of their new play area.

Project subcontractors and suppliers* are donating labour, building materials, electrical works, seating and play equipment to the value of around £11,500. This also includes £2,500 raised by Merseylink’s own staff team.

Local subcontractors involved in the project include A Plant, CEMEX, Lafarge Tarmac, Mavis Plant Hire, PP O’Connor, SE Evans and Sons Ltd, Select Security and Wingate Electrical Ltd.

Work on the scheme started today (Wednesday 12 August 2015) and is expected to take around four weeks.

Once complete the new play area will boast a log train, pirate ship, climbing frame, poles for making dens, wooden seating and a picnic area. The site will also have disabled access.

West Bank Community Centre originally applied to Merseylink’s Time Bank scheme last year for help with initial ideas for the play area.

Neil Wilcock, employment and skills coordinator at Merseylink, said: “After assessing the Time Bank application it became clear that the centre desperately needed a new play area to help improve the quality of life for local children who live in the area and use the centre.

“We’re delighted to be able to support West Bank Community Centre in this way but we wouldn’t have been able to do this without the generous donations from our subcontractors and staff. Our thanks go to them for helping us to make this scheme a reality.”

The community centre is an important venue in West Bank. Staffed by volunteers, it offers numerous services for local residents including a food bank, health and wellbeing club, and various fitness classes.

It also runs Jiggy’s, a weekly children’s club for youngsters aged from one to eleven years, as well as mother and toddler groups.

A spokesman for the West Bank Community Centre said the new play area would be a huge boost to the community centre. He said: “The improvement to the outside facilities will benefit the services we can offer considerably by allowing children to develop physical skills in a safe, clean and secure environment.

“We can’t thank everyone at Merseylink’s Time Bank enough for supporting our project. It will make a huge difference to the children, families and staff that are here now, but also future generations. Thank you so much.”

Halton Borough Council leader Rob Polhill, chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said:  “This is another great example of how the Mersey Gateway Project is making a positive difference to local people. Investing in community projects like this is certainly something to be proud of. I’m sure there will be lots of excited children who are looking forward to the day this new play area will open.”

*Donations from local subcontractors and suppliers include:

  • A Plant, Widnes depot – tool hire
  • Cemex – concrete
  • Lafarge Tarmac – surfacing
  • Mavis Plant Hire, Frodsham – building equipment and machinery
  • PP O’Connor, Manchester – groundworks
  • Select Security, Runcorn – log train play equipment
  • SE Evans and Sons Ltd, Widnes – pirate ship play equipment and labour
  • Wingate Electrical Ltd – electrical installation of floodlights


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