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Community celebrates new Bench Road community park

Fairfield residents came together to celebrate the power of partnerships as the newly refurbished play area and new outdoor fitness area at Bench Road were officially opened.

Opportunities to increase physical activity, health and wellbeing in Fairfield had been identified in High Peak Borough Council's Sport and Physical Activity Strategy and the local community indicated a desire to take part in more activities as families.

The Bench Road site is central to the community being close to both Fairfield Infant and Junior Schools and local shops so was the ideal choice for new and improved facilities aimed at encouraging more people to get active.

A partnership including High Peak Borough Council, Residents of Fairfield Association (ROFA), SHIFT and the Park Steering Group was formed to deliver the £90,000 project and this partnership approach was key to the design and layout of the new facilities.

External funding of £40,000 from Tarmac's national Landfill Communities Fund helped meet the costs of the new fitness area and a £50,000 grant from SUEZ Communities Trust was vital to providing the new play equipment.

High Peak Mayor Councillor Ed Kelly joined local councillors, the Chair of ROFA Lia Roos, Tarmac Tunstead's Environmental Coordinator Matt Derbyshire, and local residents to officially open the improved amenities.

Councillor Kelly said: "It's a pleasure to join you all here at the refurbished play area as it officially re-opens to the community - not least because this has been a project led and driven by local people working in partnership with the Council.

"This play area, and the new outdoor fitness area next to it, are a focus for the neighbourhood and the Council has been delighted to work with you to deliver these improved facilities. I know, and can already see, how much you will all enjoy using this park and the fitness area.

"Special mention must go to the Park Steering Group, supported by ROFA, for their help in delivering the project and, of course, to our co-funders Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund and the SUEZ Communities Trust."

Lia Roos, Chair of ROFA, added: "This is such an important space to us - it's on the route to and from nursery, the schools and the shops - and we really wanted to increase the use of the space by everyone.

"We are thrilled that by working together we've been able to make this project happen. But we're not stopping here - we're working on plans to increase the range of activities taking place to encourage people to get outside and get active."

Matt Derbyshire from Tarmac's nearby Tunstead site said: "The Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund supports projects right around the country, so we are delighted that such an important community project close to Tunstead has benefitted. We look forward to hearing how much local people of all ages are enjoying using this facility."