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Beech Rec transformed into active lifestyle hub

Posted on 03 October 2016

Work is almost complete on the latest £56,000 regeneration of Beech Recreation Ground in Sowerby Bridge. The park is being transformed to include a BMX track and a sensory garden, plus additional outdoor gym equipment to make a complete fitness trail around the park.

The campaign to create an active lifestyle hub for the local community and visitors to the area to enjoy was led by community group, ‘Dec the Rec’ in partnership with Calderdale Council and with support from community regeneration charity Groundwork. 

Beech Recreation Ground was an underused former Victorian Park. Use of this once popular park was in decline and a group of local residents decided it was time to take action. In 2008 ‘Dec the Rec’ was formed to champion the park, run events and make Beech Rec better for everyone. By working alongside Calderdale Council and Groundwork, funding was obtained for a playground, new and renovated fencing and artistic entrance archways, completed in 2012.

Efforts then turned to realising the group’s aspirations for an active lifestyle hub in Beech Rec, and with all the funding for this last phase of improvements finally in place by early May, the works have progressed at a swift pace. Anyone visiting Beech Rec will notice that the changes to the park are already being enjoyed, with an official opening date to follow soon.

Heather Karpicki, Treasurer of Dec The Rec said: “We have already had some great feedback from residents about this latest scheme, especially the brilliant new BMX track. Whilst the sensory garden will be an attractive and enjoyable area for the older residents and parents with babies, lots of families are using the BMX track and we’ve even had a granny going on a scooter because it’s such great fun.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said: “This project has been a long time in the making, but it’s great news that the finishing touches to the transformation of the park are now being put in place. We have been working with the community group, Dec the Rec and Groundwork since 2008 to improve the site and transform the recreation ground into a well-loved community space with something for everyone. This is a great example of community groups and the Council working together to improve facilities for local people.”

Jon Crossley, Capital Programme Manager at Groundwork, said: “This has been a great project to be involved in. We do a lot of work around creating better places and this project really embraces that. It’s fantastic to see Beech Rec really getting used in an active and positive way and getting these new facilities in place is a real boost for the area.”

The project received £49,000 funding from Biffa Award as part of the Landfill Communities Fund, plus additional funding from Calderdale Council, the Community Foundation for Calderdale and Dec the Rec.