The Mersey Gateway Project

Children jump for joy as new community play area opens

October 8, 2015MerseylinkNews

A new community play area has opened in Widnes, thanks to the Mersey Gateway Project.

Play area - group shot

The brand new play area at West Bank Community Centre was unveiled this week in a special ceremony with local children, including two year olds Faith Tilley and Corey Atkinson (pictured below).

Play area - Faith Tilley

They were invited to open the play area and try out the new equipment, which boasts a log train, pirate ship, climbing frame, and den poles. It also has wooden seating, a picnic area and disabled access.

The play scheme, which cost around £27,000, was financed through Merseylink’s regeneration fund, plus fundraising activity from staff and contributions from suppliers.

Local subcontractors A Plant, CEMEX, Lafarge Tarmac, Mavis Plant Hire, PP O’Connor, SE Evans and Sons Ltd, Select Security and Wingate Electrical Ltd donated building materials, play equipment and labour.

Play area - Corey Atkinson (front)

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 11 years, as well as mother and toddler groups.

Merseylink’s Supply Chain Manager, Rachel Moseley, said: “I am very proud of what we, as a team at Merseylink, have managed to provide for the children at Jiggy’s and West Bank Community Centre. It is fabulous to be able to support such a valuable local resource, which is somewhere safe for local children to play and learn in.

She added: “We couldn’t have done it without the support of our supply chain and the Merseylink team who have physically built it. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported my quest to get this play area turned from a dream into a reality.”

A spokesperson for the community centre said: “We cannot thank Merseylink enough for our wonderful new play area. The time and effort that was put in by everyone has achieved unbelievable results. It is going to bring the children who come here a lot of joy for many years to come.”

Jean Wright, great grandmother of Oliver Wright, age two, said: “I’ve lived in this community for 53 years and this new play area is going to make an amazing difference. The children now have somewhere to play safely, helping them to get fresh air and exercise.”

Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chair of Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “Our communities are the heart of Halton and it is fantastic that local organisations such as West Bank Community Centre are benefiting as a result of the Mersey Gateway Project.”

He added: “Merseylink and their supply chain have already brought thousands of pounds worth of help, skills and advice to organisations in the borough through their Time Bank scheme and I look forward to seeing even more local groups and community projects benefit in the future.”

Plans for the play area came about after the community centre successfully applied to Merseylink’s Time Bank, which was set up to support local community projects.

For more information about Merseylink Time Bank visit

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