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Westbridge Park leisure offering plan released…..what do you think?

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Stafford Borough Council have now kicked off the next stage of the Westbridge Park consultation along with concept drawings of what they propose

Designs for new play facilities for Westbridge Park in Stone have been revealed.

Around 1500 residents, children, and members of local groups gave their views about what they wanted to see at Westbridge Park in Stone.

Stafford Borough Council is now asking for feedback on proposed plans which have been drawn up following the six-week consultation earlier this year.

People can see the concept designs at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/westbridgeparkconsultation and have until Monday 20th August to comment via the SBC online survey

Toddler and junior play areas, picnic benches, wheeled sports facility and multi-use games area (MUGA) are all earmarked as part of the new designs. Areas around the site have been highlighted to ensure key events can continue on the park.

Workshops will be held with young people and local groups, and there will also be a chance to see the proposals and chat to the design team, at the drop in sessions in the town over the next few weeks.

The majority of people taking part in the previous consultation in February and March said improved play provision was important at the park – with toddler and junior play, as well as a MUGA, the top priorities.

And people reported the lack of suitable facilities, and that Westbridge was “boring,” as reasons why they didn’t visit the park more often.

Work is currently ongoing for a new multi-million-pound leisure centre with 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool, alongside gym and fitness studios to replace the outdated building currently on site.

Football provision at Westbridge Park will be maintained for now with the consultation stating:

“In the short to medium term, there will still be football pitches at Westbridge Park. But the national
Football Association (FA) is working on a local football facilities plan for the borough. Alongside this
piece of work, SBC is also developing a new ‘Playing Pitch Strategy’ which will inform the future
provision of sports pitches and ancillary facilities, such as changing rooms, across the borough.
These plans will be developed in conjunction with Staffordshire FA, Local Leagues and Local Clubs.”

Cabinet Member for Leisure at the Borough Council, Mike Smith, said:

“The proposed offer for Stone is the largest single investment in leisure facilities ever made from council funds anywhere in the borough and we want to deliver something that local residents – especially our younger people – can enjoy and be proud of.

“Our track record on developing parks has been excellent and we want Westbridge to be a place where people and families want to come and spend time in a safe and stimulating environment.”

He added: “I’m very pleased at the numbers who took the time to give their views in the previous consultation and I hope they will now feedback on what they think of the concept designs.”

On the subject of the newly defined event space Richard Stevens, Chairman of the Stone Food &
Drink Festival told A Little Bit of Stone:

“We are delighted to read the Concept Proposals for Westbridge Park.

In the public consultation, almost 80% of respondents said that organised events like the Stone Food and Drink Festival and Stone Festival were important to them.

The consultants obviously have listened! The specific provision of event space in the Proposals ensures that the future of the Food and Drink Festival and other events will be safeguarded whilst the plans for the enhancement of the rest of the park will create a venue the town can be proud of.”

At this stage, no costs or timescales have been announced for phase 2 consultation piece.

The consultation drop-in sessions will be held on:

  • Tuesday 24th July 2018 at Westbridge Park 4pm to 7pm
  • Friday 17th August 2018 in Stone High Street 10am to 4pm

Have your say  before Monday 20th August via the SBC online survey

Information, including the results from the previous consultation stages, can be found at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/westbridgeparkconsultation

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