A much loved park is set to get an urgently needed upgrade thanks to more than £200,000 in council cash.
Woodlands Park, in Dashwood Road, Gravesend, has been a place to play, relax and have fun for people in the borough for decades.
Unfortunately the play equipment and toilets in the 15-acre park have deteriorated, falling victim to petty vandalism and wear and tear.
However, at a Gravesham council cabinet meeting last week, councillors voted to inject £210,00 into the park by refurbishing toilets and installing new play equipment.
The money comes from developer contributions, a sum of cash given by all construction developers as part of a council planning agreement, and before it can be used on Woodlands the decision must go before full council on December 8.
If councillors vote in favour of the Woodlands-work there will then be a formal consultation so that members of the public can input their ideas about the planned changes.
Speaking at the meeting, communities director, Melanie Norris said it was time for the park to get some tender-loving-care.
She said: “We’ve been fortunate with the other parks that we’ve had grants to upgrade facilities, and we’ve managed to find money, but I’m afraid that Woodlands Park is one those areas that has been at the bottom of the pile. But it’s now a space that we need to make a priority.”
All members of the cabinet seemed very keen on the idea and Cllr Tony Pritchard called the park a council “icon”.
He said:“It’s one of the best used parks in the whole borough and on my journey into work in the morning I see people of all ages using it. It’s almost one of our icons here at the council.
“It’s [the funding] very welcome and I hope it’s supported by my cabinet colleagues.”
Council leader Cllr John Cubitt agreed that work needed to be done and said it was long overdue, considering the vast amount of people who enjoy the space.
He said:“It’s never had a decent toilet facility, its only ever been repaired.
"I think the children’s playing facilities deteriorated a long time ago and we get a lot of youngsters and families using the park when it’s a nice day.”
The council’s consultation will be launched in the next few months, with work planned to begin in early spring.
Officers hope that the new and improved park will be ready by summer next year.