Ilkley Christchurch’s £200,000 bid to build play park

Wharfedale Observer: Christchurch on The Grove in Ilkley Christchurch on The Grove in Ilkley

A church hopes to raise more than £200,000 in a bid to create soft play facilities open to all local families including disabled youngsters.

Christchurch, on The Grove, Ilkley, is pressing ahead with plans for the “Dan’s Den” play facility this year, and is already said to have raised about a quarter of the funds needed.

One of the Christchurch members behind the scheme, Sue Staton, went before Ilkley Parish Council last week to give a talk about the project, and said the church may submit a request to the council for a share of its awards and projects funding.

She said the church is looking to raise in the region of £200,000 to £220,000.

“We’ve raised 26 per cent so far, and feedback has been very positive. We do think it would be a real asset for Ilkley,” she said.

“The difference between this and other soft play facilities is we would like to make it open and accessible to everybody, so we’re working with Sure Start to identify people who might not be able to afford to go to soft play centres, and we’re also working with the LS29 Group, which works with children who have special needs.”

Councillors also heard the plans included changing rooms for children of all abilities, plus larger changing tables, and sensory signs.

The facility will offer a range of play activities including fixed soft adventure play for children aged two to eight, a baby and toddler zone, facilities for disabled children, and a quiet space.

Parish Council chairman, Mike Gibbons, invited the church to apply to its Awards and Projects Committee for funding.

The soft play area project follows a survey asking the community if there was a demand for the facilities.

It is planned as a non-profit making venture, open to all children and their families within the local community, regardless of faith.

The soft play facility takes its name from the Bible story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den.

Listed building consent for the scheme was granted by Bradford Council last year.

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