The Western Recreation Ground in Hailsham, which recently benefited from the installation of an all-weather perimeter path, could receive a further major improvement in the future that will make the site much safer and even more appealing to residents.
Town councillors considered a draft specification at its meeting of the Assets Management Committee held earlier this month and at their Full Council meeting held last Wednesday [23 September], for a project to provide lighting on the new perimeter path. The lighting around the path is considered by the Town Council and project partner Hailsham Active to be essential if continued support to the community during the winter months is to be fulfilled.
Council members agreed to allocate match funding from its existing Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts for the cost of installing the lighting, dependent on Hailsham Active securing the amount of money required to successfully carry out the project.
The provision of suitable lighting on the recreation ground perimeter path “goes beyond the needs of the local sports clubs”, said Steve Wennington, chairman of Hailsham Active. “The recreation ground is also a walkway and cycle path from the Diplocks Industrial Estate to the town, so serves many purposes and my feedback is also that many would use a ‘safe’ well-lit path for exercise in the winter – particularly those looking at the very successful ‘couch to 5k’ proposed by Sport England and indeed the former Public Health England.”
A public consultation took place in Hailsham recently (via telephone, post, email and leaflet drops) concerning the lighting of the pathway, and a final consultation report was presented at the Assets Management Committee meeting. The report indicated that 100% of respondents believed that lighting the pathway would make them feel safer when using the recreation ground at night or early in the morning.
Mr Wennington added: “From the brief discussions I have had with neighbours in the local area and the sports clubs who use the recreation ground, there is overwhelming support for the installation of lighting on the perimeter path – and for those that don’t know – we have installed the ducting for lighting cables, pits for lampposts and will also be constructing the cabinet for the incoming supply to avoid any further disruption for users of the recreation ground in the future.”
“Hailsham Active is grateful to the Town Council for agreeing to support us once again and Hailsham Active will now apply for the remainder of the funds needed to see the project through. We are very grateful for the many hours put in by local resident Ralph Olsen, to help with the design of the path. We’d also like to thank specialist fundraiser, Annette Buswell from Step Up Sports Consultancy , who has helped advise us with the surveys and will be instrumental in our bids for the extra money to complete the lighting phase of the project.”
Councillor Richard Grocock, chairman of the Assets Management Committee commented: “The Western Road Recreation Ground is a much-loved community site and provides local users with many opportunities to enjoy the vibrant open space for sport, leisure and other activities.”
“Residents and local sports groups initially expressed the need to improve accessibility at the recreation ground. We listened and installed the perimeter path earlier this year… Now we have gone one step further and agreed to contribute to the cost of installing lighting, should Hailsham Active be successful in their funding search.”
Now that the Town Council has pledged its support for the project, Hailsham Active will submit additional bids for external funding to cover the cost of installing the lighting.
For further information about the Western Road Recreation Ground, contact Hailsham Town Council on 01323 841702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: email@example.com