Bolsover Play & Recreation Initiative

Old Bolsover in Derbyshire has a long and varied history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. In more recent times, it prospered as a coal mining and processing community, but as the industry declined and finally closed in the 1990s, the mining areas were hard hit.

Under investment in social and recreational infrastructure in these communities resulted in run down, unappealing and unproductive public spaces. The area gained an unenviable record of problems with antisocial behaviour, poor health indicators, high obesity levels, high levels of social deprivation and youth offending.

To help remedy the social impact of the years of deprivation, Old Bolsover Town Council has now launched a town-wide approach to the transformation of five areas of derelict recreation space. Viridor Credits, working with the Derbyshire Environmental Trust (DET), is supporting this initiative with a £150,706 grant for work at Hornscroft Park, one of the key sites.

"Having approved this project in July 2009, we were delighted to sign funding agreements with DET and Viridor Credits in October and we look forward to the completion of work at Hornscroft Park in the Spring of 2010," said David Kee of Old Bolsover Town Council. Hornscroft Park was gifted to Old Bolsover by the Duchess of Portland in 1921 to mark herson's 21st birthday and was once considered the jewel in the crown of Bolsover's parks.

The park was formally laid out in 1937 as a national fitness park and for several years it played host to a range of activities and sports groups, many of which fell into decline with the closure of the local mines. Surrounded by the conservation area, the park contains castle entrenchments which are listed ancient monuments and a public right of way, which forms part of the Cavendish Trail. Whilst some improvements have been made to facilities for younger children, the park is greatly in need of facilities for older children and teenagers.

The project that Viridor Credits is supporting will provide comprehensive outdoor play facilities for this older age range. It will feature a covered meeting point seating area and an arena style multi-sports court incorporating football and basketball facilities and markings. Play equipment aimed specifically at teenagers will also be provided. This includes a basket swing, a climbstone, a Freeride (to practice and show off snowboard or surfing skills), a Momentum (inclined roundabout for use solo or with friends) and an overhead carousel.

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