£50,000 secured for Hilly Fields Playground makeover

Some great news from the Friends and Users of Hilly Fields group, who have secured the £50k they were looking for to redevelop the playground. Click here to see their plans.

They write:

"Our community engagement event was held in the playground on a windy Saturday morning on 6th June, coinciding with the Brockley Max event. We had lots of positive feedback and support, so thank you to everyone. All the hard work has paid off, the stage 2 application was submitted in mid August and the Friends were notified of their success at the end of September. We were awarded the full £49,999."

Congratulations to the team on what will be a really exciting project for Brockley.

48 comments:

Matt-Z said...

Well done! That's great news. Having looked over the original plans again, they are going to have a tough time keeping adults off it, it looks excellent!

Anonymous said...

If Its to be done by private contractors,hope they look around or that £50,000 will be gone In no time,and wont be finished.

monkeyboy said...

a well written scope, a correctly drafted contract and decent project management. The private vs public debate is a bit meaningless really.

Fatigue said...

Amazing that in this age of austerity Brockley manages to secure public money to build a ramp where there used to be a ramp and a playground where there used to be a playground.

Anonymous said...

indeed. what is wrong with the existing playground? it looks far better than anything we had when i was growing up!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and me. There are huge swathes of this country with no playground at all, the one I've seen on Hilly Fields looks perfectly useable.

Brockley Nick said...

We've only got your and the Daily Mail's word for it that this is indeed an "age of austerity." It's not a very scientific measure, but the polls conducted on here about local people's sense of economic security suggest nothing much has changed over the course of the year, with most people reasonably comfortable.

But if you're right and we are in age of auserity, then perhaps we should be building playgrounds so that people can enjoy themselves locally, rather than flying to Spain or taking a trip to the beach, eh?

Yes, we have a playground. It's a bit crap. What's being proposed is marvellous and the people behind the proposal competed against a wide range of other projects to secure the funding, which did not come from Lewisham Council. So it clearly has a lot of merit.

I'm guessing you don't have kids...

westsider said...

"perfectly useable" - yes it is. The new one will be brilliant, rather than just "useable".

M said...

Huge swathes of the country with no playgrounds AT ALL you say?
No! Something must be done!
We must not rest until every street, every field has at least a slide in it.

Brockley Nick said...

It's possible to walk from one side of Dartmoor to the other without seeing so much as a climbing frame. Disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

Its nice to hear of a play area being built,rather than being knocked down.

monkeyboy said...

you'd think that a playground for kids would not be controversial. For some people everything really is shit

Brockley Nick said...

Succinctly put

graeme said...

I propose a big bumpy plastic slide for the slope, with mats and everything, so that we adults don't feel left out. Oh, and a tow-lift to get back up to the top, while we're at it.

Anonymous said...

I think its just the perception of Brockley rebuilding on top of things that are suitable and neglecting things that aren't, like the 1990s ramp and presumably recently built playground.

Anonymous said...

And last time I checked all kids wanted was a "useable" playground - in the same way as they'll go for the cardboard box over the toy when its their first christmas.

Just because you do, it doesn't mean your kids also want a sustainably built, walnut slide with chewable grips and a fully suspended floor to hurl their darling little bonces onto.

lady said...

I have to say I agree with the last Anon poster here...I congratulate the group on getting funding for a great project, lord knows it's hard to get any resources out of any organisations let alone Lewisham, but I wonder really about what informs the decisions. For example, what about spending the money improving the whole area? eg Lewisham could provide free refuse pick ups to stop the area looking generally like a sh*thole. Which might have a knock on effect in people keeping their own front yard/shop front in order and would make us all a lot happier and hopeful for the future (including our kids)

but then I guess I should be setting up a group to campaign for this if it is what I really want

lady said...

...by that i mean large item pick ups...mattresses and sofa cushions etc

lady said...

and i mean the 16.18 anon poster, not the next one...

Anonymous said...

I think this is great and the new proposals are for a different type of playground to the pretty standard one that is there at the moment. The new proposals as far as I can see envisage a "natural" environment which is great as it is something which children growing up in London generally lack. I grew up in the country and clambering over rocks, building dens etc was all great fun and that sort of play encourages imaginative/creative thinking in a way which standard play equipment does not.

Brockley Nick said...

@Lady - they applied to a special fund created to improve children's play areas - it's not an either / or situation. Please read the previous discussions on this topic by following the links - it's been done to death already.

@Anon, presumably then, as a child, you were delighted to be given a cardboard box for Christmas. Now I KNOW you don't have kids...

Matt-Z said...

Anon @ 16.34 ... you've hit the nail on the head there.

M @ 16:03 ... fear not, I understand the owners of the Brockley Mess are at this very minute removing one of the tables and installing a sandpit, just to annoy the moaners on here.

Anonymous said...

Brockley Nick, never seen the joy in the young childs eyes with something as simple as a cardboard box?

You must have started spoiling yours young.

lady said...

@Nick - thanks, yes I did read the post again. Glad to now have the full picture. I'll save my irked at Lewisham comments for somewhere else. Boo

fabhat said...

lady - there are already lewisham vans driving round the area picking up abandoned items - I see it most days up and down wickham rd collecting abandoned mattresses and the like.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon - oh please. We can all (adults included) take pleasure in the simple things. You, for example, seem to enjoy the simple pleasure of trolling and begrudging children the outlandish luxury of a new playground.

fabhat said...

Those plans look fantastic - I think both the kids and adults will enjoy the playground more. Looking forward to seeing it once it's finished.

Anonymous said...

gosh, it looks really really good.

I actually think this is a good use of council tax -I have no children and I'm normally opposed to LA spending!

It's easy to laugh at those who give up time to help our community and might be quite serious/earnest sort of folks but let's applaud them from time to time instead.

Well done the organisers.

Longtime Ladywell resident said...

Hey, as a regular user (my kids that is) this is great news. The existing playground is well used but has been getting shabby. However £50k seems a little OTT! I hope self-closing gates will be a feature of the new facility to keep roaming dogs out - many parents and kids seem happy to leave the gates open. Grrrr!

angel said...

This is _not_ a local authority project and it is not funded through your council tax! Nick, could, or someone, could you confirm that its the Big Lottery Fund's initiative for children's play areas? If I'm right in my recollection, then this is funded by the Big Lottery Fund - ie, a proportion of lottery ticket sales. Which henceforth, are being diverted to fund the olympics. I'm glad SE4 has been able to access the funds while they're there.... it'll be years before the lottery is funding at those levels again.

Tamsin said...

Quite - and just when the usual trust funds will be drying up because of rock-bottom interest rates. No voluntary money for anything for the immediate future when the goverment are relying on "the third sector" to plug gaps in public spending.

Doom and gloom so enjoy the play equipment as there will be squat all else to cheer one up.

Sue said...

The £50k isn't the full cost, as I understand it - that's just what they've got from the lottery bid. HFUG have been working hard to secure funding from various sources over the last couple of years to enable their proposals to go ahead. There's also some money from the Playbuilders Fund that will go towards meeting the costs - £1.1m of national government funding that Lewisham got to develop/improve 20-25 play spaces for 8-13 year olds across the borough, over a 3-year period.

Anonymous said...

50k not enough,god how big Is this play area ?

Anonymous said...

It has to be made using mung-approved materials. Just like the ramp-replacing ramp.

Anonymous said...

Look it's not your money so why do you give a shit? Shut up with your pointless whingeing and let the kids get a nice playground out of it.
Jesus, this place makes me ashamed of Brockley sometimes.

Anonymous said...

it may not be the previous posters money, but it is money that could probably be better spent improving other parts of Brockley or providing other services for our children within the area.

i assume the existing facilities, which are a lot better than neighbouring boroughs have by the way, are going to be discarded whilst the building works take place?

Brockley Nick said...

Oh good lord! Anon, no it is not money that could be spent on other parts of Brockley. It is a national fund only available for improving parks.

Please read the information provided in the articles this piece links to before criticising people's hard work.

Anonymous said...

Is part of the 50k salary for a man with a dog

Polly said...

Firstly, Anonymous 16.18, it is not a recently built playground, it has been there for over 20 years and had pretty much nothing done to it since.
Secondly, Longtime Ladywell Resident, £50k is indeed only part of the funds secured for the playground, and yes, in case anyone else wants to whinge about it, it's money that was only ever going to get spent on playgrounds, so if we didn't have it, someone else would have it for another playground. So why not us? Re the cost, you'd be surprised how much these things cost - a single piece of equipment can be £15k or £20k. Thirdly, whoever it was who moaned about the existing equipment being discarded while the works go on (I can't be bothered to look back through all the moaning, negativity and misplaced assumptions), yes obviously the playground will be out of action while the new landscaping etc happens (although the pirate boat is staying put for the time being), but the work will be done through the winter, when the playground is less used. And I don't know about neighbouring boroughs, but many of the playgrounds I've been to around here (Telegraph Hill, Greenwich, even the Horniman Triangle etc) are far superior to the one at Hilly Fields.
I know that the person responsible for making this happen has put in years of work, and has had to jump through an unbelievable number of hoops, so please try not to be so dismissive of a worthy and hard-fought-for project.

Tressilliana said...

I'd like to congratulate the people responsible for securing this money. It's so easy to sit on the sidelines and sneer, as I found to my cost when I was a school governor. Just ignore the ill-informed sniping!

The playground has been there for at least 25 years and in that time to my knowledge there has been a bit of work done, but no major re-modelling. When my children were first playing there I don't think there were any, or not as many, safety surfaces; also the train has been replaced because the one that was there before was burnt down by vandals. The pirate ship was added when my children were tiny, so in the early 90s, I suppose.

Haven't had occasion to go in there for many years (thank God) so don't know if the slide is still there. My son got his head stuck between the railings when he was about 2 which could have been fatal, I suppose. Fortunately for us there was a woman there with some bread and butter and we got him out by greasing his neck (really). Bit embarrassing when two fire engines and an ambulance turned up and he was running about again as if nothing had ever happened!

I'd like to congratulate the people responsible for securing this money. It's so easy to sit on the sidelines and sneer, as I found to my cost when I was a school governor. Just ignore the ill-informed sneering!

Re Ality said...

This is great news - for the consultant who will get the commission. 50k would be a nice little 'starter'. However, the true cost of transforming the play are will be significantly higher, so don't expect it to go very far. The council needs to dig deeper.

Tressilliana said...

For the umpteenth time, why don't people read what Nick has written?

1. The total funding is a lot more than £50K as clearly set out in the article and this thread.

2. We have no information whatever to suggest that a consultant was involved in raising these funds either, so why say that it will all go to a consultant?


3. As had also been clearly set out, this money does not come from Lewisham council and has not been sought by Lewisham council. This project is being masterminded by a voluntary group.

M said...

As if a little thing like 'the facts' is going to get in the way of some peoples knee jerk reactions!

Re Ality said...

Tresilliana, try not to get your nickers in a twist. Or misquote. I never said that the council had provided such a sum, merely that it would have to 'dig deeper' (in addition).
These funds will be consumed by a consultant (and more), which you obviously are not aware of. (Or for some rose-tinted view on life refuse to see.)
On your other point, not all of us have the time to read Nick's Moses-like postings on Brockley, but it might be a better idea just to point someone towards them rather than attack.
Nothing kneejerk about my response 'M', and quite able to see the 'facts' (?) when they are presented (and when I see them).
On another note... the 'pack' that dictates how any opinion on this site should somehow toe the party line is bullying of the worst kind.

Patrick said...

I'm delighted that there will be a new playground on Hillyfields as the current one is a litte tired.

Bring on the cafe and then we'll be sorted!

Anonymous said...

Oh grow up 'Re Ality' - nobody is trying to dictate anything. Everyone here is entitled to their own opinion and free to express it. Just as others are free to disagree.

Anonymous said...

I think this Is a great project,But what piece of equipment Is going to cost 15k 20k, this Is Hilly Fields not Thorpe Park

Anonymous said...

Hope the slides will be wide enough, were not all 4ft high and 6 stone

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