READING Council today announced the winning design for the new outdoor gym in Coley.
A consultation, launched on 4th June, put the choice of five designs to the public vote.
Letters were written to residents living near Coley Recreation Ground, the shortlisted designs were on display at St Mary and All Saints Primary School and at Coley Park Community Centre, with parents of the children attending the school and those visiting the community centre using a ballot box and voting slips to choose their preferred option. People could also vote online.
The winning design, number 4 from TGO, received 38% of the votes.
Coley Recreation Ground in west Reading has been earmarked for a £65K investment.
The new gym will be designed to offer free fitness for all and will offer a mix of robust equipment to suit people of varying ages and abilities. It will offer both single and multi-use units as well as equipment for seated and standing users.
The winning design will be on display at St Mary and All Saints Primary School and at Coley Park Community Centre during open hours and viewed online at www.reading.gov.uk/coleygym
It is anticipated that the work will start on site in September 2019 and ready for use by the half term week in October.
Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m pleased to announce the winning design for the new outdoor gym at Coley Park Recreation Ground is number 4 from TGO. We know that parks are one of the most valued amenities in Reading and can also provide great opportunities for people to remain active. This new outdoor gym offers and encourages free fitness opportunities for a wide range of the park’s users. Additionally, the offering has good provision for those with accessibility issues so that the widest possible range of users can benefit.
“I’m delighted that we are able to put such a significant sum into Coley Recreation Ground. It is one of our key priorities that we provide high quality, accessible equipment in as many of our parks as possible. I’d like to especially thank the ward councillors in Coley who listened to what locals wanted and were so instrumental and involved in making this project happen.
“This is an exciting and worthwhile investment for the area and will benefit large numbers local people for years to come.”
The TGO design offers a number of exciting items of outdoor gym equipment. Highlights include:
· A wheelchair accessible Smart Energy Hand Bike, which generates electricity to charge a phone and contains smart technology to count hits;
· A training rig with over 11 stations, great for all ages and abilities;
· A recumbent bike, spinning bike and cross trainer.
Funding for playground improvements across the borough have been secured by the Council from developers who made a contribution to the Council’s Community Infrastructure Fund. Reading communities were consulted last summer on how money collected from local planning developments should be spent. The top ranked schemes, including Coley Recreation Ground in west Reading, were approved at the Council’s Policy Meeting on 26th November 2018.
Policy Committee agreed that £65,000K be invested to improve Coley Recreation Ground.
Other Playground investment agreed includes:
· £100K – Canal Way (replacing Avon Place play area)
· £95K – Cintra Park, south Reading
· £155K – Long Barn Lane Recreation Ground
In addition to the investment for leisure and play from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – the contribution developers, that has benefited Coley Recreation Ground, the work complements the Council’s wider 2.7M boost for Reading’s parks and playgrounds which is part of the Council’s capital investment programme over the next 3 years.
Just over £1.6 million will contribute to the expansion, replacement or upgrading of playground equipment in parks and play areas across the borough. With a focus on areas in most need of new equipment and a big drive on providing accessible equipment for children of all abilities, particularly in areas where there is little provision for children with disabilities.
Reading’s two main parks, Prospect Park and Palmer Park, are priorities for improvements to play equipment, including the provision or replacement of obsolete equipment for children with disabilities. Park users and local residents will be consulted on the type of equipment they want to see.
Find out more about TGO, the Great Outdoor Gym Company here: www.tgogc.com
View the full Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) report: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=138&MId=184&Ver=4
View the capital investment programme here: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=138&MId1842