The newly refurbished King George V playground was officially opened on Thursday, 20th June.  Officiating at the event and cutting the ribbon was Councillor John Pape from Appleby Town Council and Alan McViety representing Appleby Rotary Club.  Children from Shining Stars Nursery, Appleby Primary and Grammar Schools came to help celebrate the opening.

Cllr John Pape said “Just is the result of 2 years of hardwork by the fundraising committee and with the support from the amazing local residents, organisations and businesses and the very generous grant funders, which resulted in surpassing the original fundraising target by over £10,000.  Everyone should be extremely proud of themselves.”

Alan McViety representing Appleby Rotary, one of the major contributors to the fundraising said “Rotary are honoured to have supported the playground fundraising efforts. This has been an amazing achievement and has only been possible by the whole community getting behind the committee to support their fundraising efforts. I would like to acknowledge a donation of £10,000 from a trust fund held with Appleby Rotary on behalf of Fred McHugh.”

Fred McHugh, originally from Ormskirk, lived on Battlebarrow in Appleby with his wife Betty and died in 2017aged 93.  Fred loved Appleby and was a very active volunteer within the community and Rotary.  Fred left a legacy with Appleby Rotary to be used for the benefit of the residents of Appleby.

18 months after starting the appeal, the Platinum Playground committee had raised an amazing £103,000 and following a competitive tender process, with designs submitted by seven suppliers, HAGS UK were unanimously appointed to install the new playground.

Appleby Town Council have supported the committee, leading on the financial and project management.  Nearly £30,000 was raised through local fundraising events and donations. The fundraising committee organised a number of events, including Easter, Halloween and Christmas parties, bingo nights, cream teas and duck races. Local organisations and businesses have also been extremely generous in supporting the fundraising appeal, in particular Appleby Rotary Club, NFU Mutual, Appleby Fire Service and Eden Young Farmers.

A further £75,000 was received from a number of grant funding bodies including Cumbria Waste Management Trust, Westmorland & Furness Council, National Lottery Awards for All, Hadfield Trust, Freida Scott Trust, Hannah Kennington Trust (ATC), Westmorland Family Trust, Holehird Trust and British Gypsum.

The re-imagined playground is colourful and exciting and includes a zip wire, two multi-play towers, a climbing pyramid, inclusive roundabout and rope swing.

Sue Gilbertson, Town Clerk
Friday 21st June 2024