Swindon Borough Council has received more than £400,000 in developer contributions to make improvements at Coate Water Country Park.
A country park improvement plan covering the whole town will be published in the coming months.
The £424,000 funding pot, which has come from Section 106 funding associated with the Badbury park development, will be spent on:
- Footpath improvements
- Better signage
- Enhanced access to the park from Day House Lane
- Improvements to the children’s play areas
- Measures to mitigate the effects of development at Badbury Park on Coate
The improvements will all be in keeping with Coate’s character and status as a country park, as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and local nature reserve.
The improvements will include the replacement of the current children’s play area, which is located on the east bank of the lake. The play area, which is currently closed for health and safety issues as a result of a COVID-19 secure inspection, is known to flood because the site was once a concrete paddling pool.
The Council hopes to start making some of these changes this winter, with the aim of completing the whole improvement project by late 2022.
Councillor Dale Heenan, Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, Heritage and Culture, said: “I am delighted that major new investment is happening in Coate Water Country Park. Last month, there was unanimous support among Cabinet for this funding to be spent.
“I was very pleased, back in May, to become the cabinet member responsible for parks because I walk my dog around a different park every day, and know the great spaces that we have in every corner of our town.
“One of the first things I asked Council officers to work on was drafting Swindon’s first Country Park Improvement Plan, with Coate Water the immediate priority. I am working closely with Councillor Maureen Penny who is responsible for day to day maintenance, and I look forward to being able to work with ward councillors and share with residents for comments soon.
“This £400,000 of improvements is on top of the annual £200k budget for Coate Water, and is just the start of our ambition. Unlike many towns and cities, Swindon is blessed with a large number of green spaces and parks that we should be proud of. This Council is committed to protecting and improving them for the good of our children, families and the whole community.”
Residents are encouraged to keep an eye on the Council’s social media channels for updates on the improvement schemes.