Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park paddling pool to receive £200,000 makeover

Published: Monday, 22nd February 2016

Oxford City Council and WREN are set to invest £200,000 to make further improvements to Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park.

The City Council is investing £150,000 of the money, and the Council’s Green Space Development Officer Caroline Chanides successfully obtained a £50,000 grant from WREN’s Community Action Fund to fund the rest.

The project will see the paddling pool, which was built in 1965, turned into an interactive splash feature and water play area. The designs will be developed with the supplier and members of the public.

The scheme is currently going through the procurement process and will be completed later this year.

Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park, which is Green Flag accredited, is the largest park owned and managed by Oxford City Council. It has three play areas, tennis courts, basketball, table tennis, fit trail, a café, skate park, multi-use games area and a recently-opened mini golf course.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Board Member for Leisure, Sport and Events, said: “I am delighted that children and families from across Oxford will have a new water play area to enjoy.

“Exercise is incredibly important for physical and mental health and wellbeing – and it’s even better when it’s through such a fun family activity.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to WREN for helping make this project possible."

Joe Newby, WREN’s grant manager for Oxford, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the new splash and play waterpark at Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park, and pleased our funding will have such a positive impact on the community and the environment.

“WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to seeing the impact of this one very soon.”

The project follows the completion of £316,000 worth of outdoor fitness equipment across the city’s parks in December, along with the opening of the £900,000 Oxford Spires Sport & Fitness and the £4.76m Rose Hill Community Centre, which includes a gym and health facility, in January.

January also saw the first anniversary of the opening of Leys Pools & Leisure Centre. The £9m centre attracted 412,967 visitors between January and November 2015, compared to a combined 248,599 visitors who used the former Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Blackbird Leys Pool and Temple Cowley Pools in the same period during 2014.