Ambitious plans to transform a former allotment site in Newbold into a major community green space have secured £175,000 in grants.
Rugby Borough Council and the Newbold-on-Avon Community Partnership unveiled plans for the revamp of the former allotments off Parkfield Road in the summer, launching a public consultation.
The masterplan includes a park, play area, wildlife zones, allotments, a nature play trail, picnic area, landscaping and new footpaths.
This week the project was awarded a £100,000 grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust to develop the park and a further £75,000 grant from Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN) to create the play area.
Both organisations award funding through the Landfill Communities Fund.
And the Woodland Trust has also backed the plans by donating thousands of trees and shrubs to support the landscaping work.
Cllr Sally Bragg, responsible for sustainable environment at Rugby Borough Council, said: “These grants pave the way for the transformation of the Parkfield Road site and it’s wonderful news for Newbold residents and the wider community.
“The council wants to make the site a flagship green space in the borough and the ambitious plans can now be realised thanks to the support of the Veolia Environmental Trust and WREN.”
The site has been unused for more than a decade after it was acquired at the turn of the millennium under a compulsory purchase order for the building of the town’s Western Relief Road.
Around 37,000 square metres of land was returned to the council, inspiring the plans to create a new community asset.
Cllr Claire Edwards, ward councillor for Newbold and Brownsover and one of the founders of the Newbold-on-Avon Community Partnership, said: “This is a wonderful early Christmas present for Newbold and means we can now look forward to the plans becoming a reality.
“The partnership has forged a great working relationship with the council which has reaped real results for Newbold residents and I’m looking forward to watching work on the site progress during 2015.”
Work to clear the site of fly-tipping and install new perimeter fencing has already started. The rest of the project looks set to be completed in phases, with work on the park scheduled to start in the spring and work on the play area set to begin in the summer.
Paul Taylor, executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, said: “This grant rounds off a very busy 2014 for us, awarding a total of £6.8 million to more than 230 community and environmental projects across the UK.
“This great new green space will bring a wide range of benefits for people living in the area and we look forward to seeing work start in 2015.”
Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said: “WREN is committed to funding projects that make a real difference to local communities, children and families.
“The Parkfield Road project will make provide a fantastic space for local people to get outdoors and have some fun.
“We’re delighted to support Rugby Borough Council to make this happen and look forward to the completion of this project in 2015.”