Opinion: £1.2m project will transform the park

City of London Corporations, West Ham Park Committee chairman Oliver Sells QC, is excited about the

City of London Corporations, West Ham Park Committee chairman Oliver Sells QC, is excited about the new plans for West Ham Park. - Credit: Archant

Welcome to my first column of this new decade.

West Ham Park, which is managed by the City of London Corporation, has a rich and diverse cultural history spanning back over 400 years.

In 2004, English Heritage awarded the site Grade II status on their Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

The future of the much-loved playground is at the forefront of the park and local community, who I'm certain will be delighted at the news that the City Corporation will be investing a significant 70 per cent toward the cost to completely transform the playground.

The park is working tirelessly to source more funds from external sponsors to enable the £1.2m project to start this autumn.

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The design for the park includes a remarkable water play feature with water tables, hand pumps, and landscaping rich with planting.

The new play equipment will feature an amazing explorer's ship and more traditional favourites giving children of all ages and abilities the opportunity to play together.

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I am also pleased to tell you that The Friends of West Ham Park have been awarded funding from the City Corporation's Central Grants Programme, backed by City Bridge Trust, its arm.

City Bridge Trust has supported charitable activity across Greater London since 1995, and distributes £20m every year.

The fund has supported local community and charity groups to deliver projects across open spaces.

And this successful submission will enable the Friends to make a permanent exhibition about the legacy of fascinating plant collector Dr John Fothergill, with an art installation opening this summer in the gardens.

A further grant has been awarded to Capital Kids Cricket who will continue to develop strong links in the community with their programme of sporting activity, gardening and health and wellbeing schemes.

The development of the playground and grant funding initiatives will be an important additional resource for the people of Newham, and I look forward to seeing everyone benefit from this very significant investment.

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