A splash pad for Chippenham’s John Coles Park is now set to go ahead, albeit a year later than hoped.
The children’s water play feature is back on the table after Chippenham Town Council managed to find £45,000 external funding.
The leisure and amenities committee decided last Wednesday that a family fun day at John Coles Park would be arranged to coincide with the splash pad opening in summer 2015.
Council officers looked at what the town was owed from its S106 agreements – funding contributions from builders developing in Chippenham – and an application to Wiltshire Council for £40,000 was successful.
It has also been granted £5,000 from Chippenham Borough Lands Charity.
The remaining £45,000 needed to set up the splash pad will come from the town council’s play budget as planned.
The project was delayed when the £40,000 ringfenced last summer for the splash pad was, in January this year, reallocated for the provision of “improvements to infrastructure, community safety and to support local business and community projects”.
Councillors are yet to decide what this will be spent on.
Adrian Jones, head of service delivery, said the splash pad would involve significant excavation work and it would be best to start in January next year to make sure it was ready for the summer holidays.
Running costs had also not been budgeted for this year and could cost between £6,700 and £15,000.
Councillor Melody Thompson said: “I am a bit disappointed we won’t get it until summer 2015. I’ve only been asking for one since my daughter was three and she’ll be nearly seven by then. But at least we get it which I’m pleased about. There is very little in terms of entertainment for children.”
Councillor Martin Coates said: “Officers have saved the taxpayer £40,000 by finding other funding.”
But he remained cautious about the annual costs of water, electricity and servicing.
“We like the idea of having the splash pad, no one’s dead against it, but financially it’s sensible to wait,” he said.
“It would be a shame to get it started and then realise later on in the year we can’t actually afford to run it.”