Council unveils plans for Whitehall Recreation ground improvements

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Latest news.

New footpaths, an adventure playground and a skate park are among the additions to be made to Whitehall Recreation ground as part of Rugby Borough Council's recently unveiled plans.

Detailed designs for the planned phased improvements were unveiled following a public consultation held last year and the award of additional funding for the project.

Cllr Lisa Parker, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm, said: "A number of residents and community groups have helped us put together the masterplan. Previous consultations have had an enthusiastic response, and I'm keen to hear what residents will make of this final masterplan and design for the play area.

"The Whitehall Recreation ground is the oldest open space in Rugby and is protected forever as a Fields in Trust site and as one of their Centenary Fields.

"Its grade 2 listed memorial gates make it a special place for Rugbeians and the planned improvements will mean it will be enjoyed by many generations to come."

The characteristic large open space will be kept but new circulatory footpaths will be added as part of later phases to improve accessibility, particularly for visitors who use mobility scooters, wheelchairs or children's buggies, and to benefit joggers and anyone enjoying a walk in the park.

A new memorial garden has been proposed for later works to improve the setting of the grade 2 listed War Memorial Gates and create a new space for commemorative services.

A new adventure play area for all ages and abilities will incorporate the existing historic rocking horse, manufactured many years ago by the company behind Wicksteed Park (and currently marking their centenary).

The play area has been boosted with a grant from The Veolia Environmental Trust which awards grants through the Landfill Communities Fund to support community and environmental projects.

A destination BMX and skate park is also planned, with local skate, scooter and bike enthusiasts currently working with the council on the design, which also forms part of the first phase.

An interactive music garden has been suggested to link with the site’s musical heritage.

Separate to the improvements, tree maintenance work was completed in January.

A council spokesperson said these tree works were necessary due to disease and tree structure issues and negative impact on the bandstand.

Replacement chestnut trees are being planted in order to provide successional planting and retain the character of the area.

Survey work has also been carried out ahead of future refurbishment of the park band stand.

More information on the planned improvements can be found at www.rugby.gov.uk/whitehallrec.