Community schemes boost for Thirsk

First published in News

THREE long-awaited community schemes could be completed within months after councillors discovered they had around £100,000 to spend on public projects.

Work is due to start on a £22,000 revamp of East Thirsk Community Hall, a £20,000 road safety scheme at Norby Front Street and a £5,000 project to redesign an open space on the Millgate development.

It is also hoped a £40,000 multi-activity playground will be installed on The Holmes park, in Thirsk, before Easter, after gaining permission for the work from landowner John Bell.

The funding - from a public projects contribution developers Taylor Wimpey paid to Hambleton District Council for its Millgate development, beside the Norby estate - became available after Thirsk Town Council drew up an action plan for its open spaces.

Town councillors asked every youth organisation in the town, including sports clubs, if they needed funding for a project, but only received responses from the community hall and about the playground.

Work to improve the 18-year-old hall by increasing storage and revamping the kitchen and electrics has begun this week.

Mayor of Thirsk, Councillor Cynthia Hesmondhalgh, said members had agreed to spend some of the remaining funds on a new crossing and traffic calming measures in Norby after receiving numerous complaints from residents about vehicle speeds on Front Street.

She said the extra money would serve as a filup to the town at a time when funding for such schemes from the district and county council was not available.

Coun Hesmondhalgh said: “This is great news all round, it will make a huge difference to what we can do at the hall, Front Street will be made safer and the youngsters I have spoken to are ecstatic as the playground equipment, which includes a zip-wire, is truly exceptional.

“People will see it when they are passing and will make the effort to come to Thirsk for that.”

After councillors decided against installing a fence on The Holmes park to protect the equipment, the firm building the playground said it would repair any vandalism to it for three years, remove the wooden equipment from the flood-prone area as well as revamp some of the remaining equipment.

Councillors have agreed to replace paving stones in the town’s Market Place when more funding from housing developments becomes available.

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