Less than two months after a call for help, the Newmarket Playpark and Riverside Gardens enjoyed its first Fun Day on Saturday.
The £500,000 Playpark and Gardens opened in 2004 but had fallen into disrepair over the years.
Recently fears arose within the community that there were plans to remove the equipment and the park flattened and converted to grazings.
In a bid to save the once popular amenity, community members got together to re-established the Newmarket Gateway Trust; and urged local residents and businesses to help in rejuvenating the Playpark and Gardens.
And the response was a huge success with over 50 people – from aged two years to 80 years – taking part in Community Clean Up Days.
Island businesses also proved their generosity with assistance in funding, material and manpower.
“We want to say a big thank you to all who have turned up to help on Clean Up Days, who have donated their time and or money towards the regeneration of the park, and to all the businesses who have pledged their support,” said Newmarket Gateway Trust Chair Murray Macleod.
“Without them we would not have been able to get where we are today and with their continued support the future looks bright for the riverside gardens and playpark.”
On April 12th all that hard work and support paid off when the Playpark and Gardens were enjoyed, despite the blustery weather, by young and old in the first Fun Day.
“Even with the bad weather at the weekend we managed to host our first Fun Day which we hope will become a regular event, along with others to promote and maintain the Gardens and Playpark,” added Murray.
Boasting slides, obstacle course, swings, roundabouts, basketball pitch and a zip-line the Playpark is a new must for those entertaining young ones. And with a relaxing stroll along the riverside for the older generation, as well as a top-notch seated barbecue area, the Newmarket Playpark and Riverside Walk offers a great day out for the whole multi-generation family.
Work to regenerate the area is still ongoing with plans for new access paths, including wheelchair access, and improved lighting currently being implemented.
To raise funds for the continued work, the Newmarket Gateway Trust will be holding a Raffle in the Co-operative store on Thursday, April 24th – the winning tickets of which will be drawn at a fundraising Ceilidh Concert to be held in Laxdale Hall on Friday, May 16th.
And island residents can also help build a sustainable future for the Newmarket Playpark and Riverside Gardens by voting for the project to be awarded a £5,000 Community Grant by Engage Mutual Trust.
To vote, simply log onto www.engagemutual.com/foundation/projects/newmarket-gateway-trust
The Community Grant will allow £1,000 to be spend on lighting; £1,000 to help supply materials and maintain Riverside Gardens’ four bridges; and £3,000 to help fence the ‘toddler’ area - these sums cover materials, but all labour will be undertaken by the community.