Further delays to new Doncaster playground could see council lose out on cash

Cusworth Hall
Cusworth Hall

Delays to a long-awaited playground in the grounds of a museum could cost Doncaster Council £5,000 in grant funding.

Documents published by Doncaster Council last week show £25,000 has been raised to install a new play area aimed at children under the age of five at Cusworth Hall.

Delays to the scheme has been put down to ‘severe capacity issues’ within the park team.

The majority of the funding will be taken from museum reserves at a cost of £18,000 and another £5,000 worth of grant has come from Wates Family Enterprise Trust.

A further £2,000 has been raised by Friends of Cusworth Park.

But local authority bosses have raised concerns about delays to the project which could see the £5,000 worth of grant funding being taken away. A plan was originally drawn up in 2016 and Wates has extended the customary two-year time limit it puts on grant funding.

Council bosses are keen to build the park due to ‘popular demand’ and forecast a growth in car park revenue which already rakes in £60,000 a year.

Carolyn Dalton, a council officer working within the Adults, Health & Wellbeing team, said: “If the project does not go ahead then we will lose the £5,000 grant funding from Wates, including the reputational risk of them having kindly extended by exception their usual two year time limit - due to our exceptional circumstances of severe capacity issues within the park team.

“The under fives will not have a dedicated play area at Cusworth Hall – which has been requested by the public. This will impact on the councils’ provision for early years at time when it is an increasing focus for public health as we attempt to break the cycle of above average poor health in Doncaster.

“There will also be a loss of income as the public demand will mean that this is a wellused area, which will increase our car park income – supporting the upkeep of the hall and park.”