Council open new multi-use games area at Matlock park

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Derbyshire Dales District Council has celebrated the opening of a new multi-use games area in one of Matlock’s best loved parks.

Council representatives officially opened the new facility at Hall Leys Park on Saturday, July 22, as part of Love Your Parks Week.

The event saw more than 30 children taking part in activities including balance bikes, football, kwik cricket, basketball and netball alongide parents and grandparents.

Councillor Jo Wild, chairman of the community and environment committee, said: “We are confident this will encourage local people and visitors to participate in sport more regularly, and, in particular, encourage those who may not necessarily want to use a leisure centre or be part of an organised sports club.

“The facility will also allow people to have an informal kick-about in a safe place at no cost.”

The multi-use games area (MUGA) was created by converting one of the existing tennis courts which was not in regular use.

The project involved replacing the perimeter fencing and marking out the pitches for a number of sports including basketball, football, netball and tennis.

The work was funded by a one-off contribution of £14,000 from Derbyshire County Council’s Community Priorities Fund, £2,000 from the district council’s Local Projects Fund and £2,000 from Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership.

The MUGA and the tennis courts are both free to use for members of the public, though users must provide their own equipment.

The district council’s sports development and community safety teams will use the new facility as a venue for evening activities to engage young people aged 11-25, and the council’s Arc Leisure Matlock will use the MUGA as a venue for school holiday activities.

Coun Wild said: “In recent years we have upgraded tennis courts at our recreation grounds in Ashbourne and Bakewell and in both cases participation in sport has increased, improving the variety of activities available to residents and visitors.

The council also revealed last week that Hall Leys Park had been awarded the prestigious international Green Flag.

Fore more information, see www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/hallleyspark.