Playtime officially underway at Wandsworth Common playground

Published: Friday, August 9, 2019

A children’s playground on Wandsworth Common has been officially reopened after a £165,000 revamp.

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Isabelle and Benjamin Waddington with friend Alexandra Wakerley testing out the new equipment

Councillors took part in an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday to formally reopen the new-look Chivalry Road playground.

The ceremony marked the completion of a seven-week refurbishment project which has delivered new, exciting and challenging play equipment for a range of different ages.

The major facelift includes new landscaping and new safe play surfaces provided along with modern new play equipment, including timber swings, slides, see-saws, climbing frames, benches and picnic tables.

Hanging tough! Isabelle Waddington and Alexandra Wakerley

A similar project is nearing completion at the nearby playground by St Mark’s Church in Boutflower Road which is also benefiting from a substantial revamp.

These upgrades come just months after the nearby all-weather ball games area at Chivalry Road was refurbished as part of a separate £130,000 scheme. As well as a new playing surface, fencing and renewed sports equipment, the floodlighting was also upgraded enabling young people to use it after dusk.

Environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “This is superb news for children and families who live in this part of Battersea. The new play equipment is a very welcome addition, and is sure to delight our younger residents.

“Combined with the improvements at the nearby ball games area which is aimed at slightly older children and teenagers, it means we are able to offer something to young people of all ages in this corner of the borough.”

All these refurbishment schemes are funded via the Wandsworth Local Fund (WLF), which holds cash levied by the council on new developments in the area and which help pay for community and neighbourhood infrastructure improvements in the borough.

Over the past three years more than £7.2m in WLF money has been spent on local improvement initiatives including schemes to support safer communities, employment opportunities for young people, better pavements and improved playgrounds.

Those chosen for funding are mainly suggested by local residents who are encouraged to bring their ideas to their local ward councillors so they can be properly considered. Funding is only approved for schemes that meet criteria based on the priorities set by local people.

Other WLF-funded schemes include Christmas lights in the town centres, new LED street lights, a major road and pavement resurfacing programme, repainting Earlsfield Station railway bridge, refurbishing Putney Vale Cemetery and the Quest project providing intensive support to get young people into work.

Several public realm improvements to smarten up shopping streets include Putney High Street, Bedford Hill and Bellevue Road.

And several playgrounds have been or are about to be revamped, including Upper Tooting Park, Godley Gardens, Swaby Gardens, Leaders Gardens and Battersea Park. Improvements are also being made at Falcon Park and Furzedown Rec.

A new guide has been published offering local people advice on how they can nominate community schemes for funding. It’s available at all local libraries or can be read online at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/WLF.

Brothers in arms: Leo and Lewis Bowler enjoying the slide