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Transformation of Radnor Park play area begins

Work has started to transform Radnor Park play area into a welcoming new place to play and relax, enjoy a cup of tea or take a stroll.

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The vision of an exciting new space for the whole community has been brought to life through a partnership between Shepway District Council, Radnor Park Community Group, Folkestone Town Council, Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Ground Charities and East Kent College.

Radnor Park Community Group led by Susie Illman was set up and continues to be inspired by local mums and dads wanting a great place for their children to play as well as enhancements to this much loved Folkestone park.

Susie explains: "Taking my children to the current playground has never been the pleasure it should be. Inspired by what I had seen elsewhere and helped by some other local mums, I decided to do something about it, formally setting up a community group and applying for funding for a new play area.

"With over 6,000 children living nearby and the pride locals have for their park, we've had incredible support. We've raised over £100,000 through grants so far, and hope to raise even more over the coming months to provide the interesting and exciting play that our children deserve."

As well as providing modern new play facilities, the project will preserve and enhance the park's heritage. The recently opened Radnor Park Tea Room in the historic park lodge will have improved outside seating, so customers can sit and enjoy their food and drink in the sunshine while watching children play.

Visitors will be welcomed into the park by the soon-to-be restored water fountain as a centrepiece to the new lawn, flower beds and pathways, which will lead to the three different play areas. The fountain when opened in 1888 was adorned by a statue of St Eanswythe, which will be recreated, and the original water supply will be restored.

Local Town and District Ward Councillor, Ann Berry, who has helped to fund the project through her ward grants explains: "Local people told us that they wanted to preserve the heritage of park, the lodge and the fountain but they also wanted an updated space with a new play area, to enjoy now. I'm pleased to say through the contribution and efforts of many people, that's about to happen.