New recreation area to boost link between communities

12 December 2013

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Local families in the Pirbright and Brookwood areas are set to get a brand new recreation facility thanks to a joint project between the Army Training Centre, Pirbright, and Guildford and Woking borough councils.

Something for all ages is the aim of the development at Beech Grove, which will be for civilian and military families alike to enjoy.

Pirbright Ward Councillor, Cllr Gordon Jackson, says: "This project will strengthen the existing ties between army and civilian communities in the area. It will provide a place for people to visit and for joint events, and the play area will offer a great range of equipment and activities to benefit everyone".

Cllr John Kingsbury, Chairman of the Woking Military Covenant Advisory Panel, comments: "I am delighted that this joint partnership approach has successfully secured funding that will bring together both civilian and military communities in the area. I hope this is the first of many partnership projects that will bring significant benefits to the two communities in the coming years".

Lt Col Darren Denning, Commanding Officer, HQ Regt Army Training Centre, adds: "This is the Community Covenant in action. Hard work and commitment from the county and borough councils, and the military team in ATC Pirbright has meant that this significant project will be realised. It is a ground breaking initiative that will bring the civilian and military communities together in a fantastic setting".

A range of recreational equipment for different ages of children, from toddlers to teenagers, is planned. The local community will be consulted on the details, with work anticipated to begin in spring 2014. Outdoor exercise equipment for adults, a skate park and youth shelter for older children are all options. A picnic and barbecue area will mean the setting, which is surrounded by woodland, can be enjoyed by families and groups.

The new recreation area will also build on the existing strong relationships and support from local organisations including the local Children's Centre, Home Start, local schools and other groups.

The project is being funded by a grant of 195,000 from the Armed Forces Military Covenant Grant Scheme, together with a contribution of 40,000 from Surrey County Council, and support from Guildford and Woking borough councils. The Ministry of Defence owns the site.

The funding is available thanks to the signing of Armed Forces Community Covenants by Surrey County Council and both Guildford and Woking borough councils, in conjunction with the Army Training Centre, Pirbright.

The covenants commit local civilian and military communities to work together to support current and former armed forces personnel and their families.

For more information about the project, please contact Woking Borough Council at armedforces@woking.gov.uk or phone 01483 755855.