Unveiled: Parks revamp wish list

Haigh Hall Country Park
Haigh Hall Country Park

WIGAN Council has announced the play areas and open spaces which could be in line for an upgrade in the coming year.

A report for the Confident Places scrutiny committee identifies proposed priority projects in the borough which will receive section 106 funding between now and next December.

Almost 60 play areas are in line to receive funding to improve existing facilities or create new ones, while a further 23 open spaces will also benefit from section 106 money, which is paid by applicants building new housing to improve the local area.

Among the biggest schemes are plans to improve the play area and informal sports pitches at Ashton’s Jubilee Park, the creation of a skate park in Golborne and the refurbishment of two play areas in Orrell, although the local authority points out there will not be sufficient funds in the section 106 pot to complete every project on the list.

In addition, five per cent of the local authority’s budget for play provision is top-sliced to be spent at Haigh Country Park, Mesnes Park and Pennington Flash Country Park as these are the borough’s biggest parks and draw visitors from far and wide.

In the report, Wigan Council director of economy and skills Steve Normington writes: “The council has over 140 play areas in the borough. At some of these sites the equipment is reaching the end of its life or suffers from anti-social behaviour. These sites will need significant investment as all equipment and surfacing will need to be replaced.”

A large number of pitches used for informal sports games across the borough may receive around £1,355 each for improvements, while many play areas have also been included in the list.

The local authority also wants to investigate the state of the pitches at Coupland Road in Hindley Green, Parsons Meadow in Worsley Mesnes and the Marsh Playing Field in Leigh. The leisure facilities at Ashfield Park in Standish have also been identified as needing around £60,000 of improvements.

The Council drew up the priority list in partnership with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT), with two sites suggested for improvements by ward councillors also making it onto the final list.

The open space plans include landscaping and tree-planting on a section of the former railway line at Queens Pit Bridge in Pemberton, improving derelict land next to Tyldesley Primary School and planting trees along the edge of the common at Pennington Green, Aspull.

The council committee also heard about the projects which had been completed in the past 12 months, including installing a MUGA artificial sports pitch at Dootsons Park in Leigh, replacing all the equipment at Marsh Green and Prescott Lane play areas in Pemberton and environental schemes at Beresford Street and Gorman Street.