£200,000 boost for community schemes

Knutsford Guardian: Councillors and volunteers with Fiona Bruce MP at the Dane Meadow site Councillors and volunteers with Fiona Bruce MP at the Dane Meadow site

TWO community initiatives in Holmes Chapel have been given a £200,000 cash boost.

The project to make Dane Meadow more accessible, particularly for disabled people, and a scheme to renovate a play area for families, will benefit in the spring.

Natural England has awarded £148,896, which will be used to help create a public right of way through the seven-hectare Dane Meadow site.

Meanwhile, funding of £50,000 has been unlocked in a grant from Waste Recycling Environmental for new equipment, paths and seating at Middlewich Road park.

Stuart Gammon, chairman of Holmes Chapel Partnership, said: “It’s fantastic because both these projects came out of the Parish Plan in 2009 and a great deal of effort went into applying for the grants.

“Our project officer spent days and nights sweating over the details, so for it to come back successfully is brilliant.”

It is hoped that Holmes Chapel Parish Council and Cheshire East Council’s Dane Meadow scheme will eventually create recreational facilities, footpath and cycle links and a safe route to school.

The grant will be used to create a public right of way from one end of the site in Cotton Wood to the junction with Moreton Drive.

Disabled access will be improved with a bridleway from the end of Daresbury Close to the valley floor.

Work has also started on a bird feeding and observing area, and it is planned to develop small ponds to extend the range of wildlife at the country park.

Stuart, of Portree Drive, said: “The aim is to improve access to the area and attract a wider range of visitors without affecting the natural character of the site.”

Holmes Chapel Partnership is obtaining quotes for a range of options for how to spend the play park money.

Existing facilities will be refurbished and new play equipment, paths and seating will be added to provide a safe environment for youngsters.

Stuart said: “I am particularly excited that we have been able to attract much-needed funding to Holmes Chapel to help us carry out community projects. We look forward to a very busy and exciting new year.”

l To get involved with the Dane Meadow project e-mail danemeadow@hotmail.co.uk.

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