Schoolgirl celebrates play area campaign victory

Georgina East tries out the new play facilities she campaigned to have re-instated
Georgina East tries out the new play facilities she campaigned to have re-instated

A Matlock schoolgirl has won her campaign to see a local play area reinstated.

Two years ago Georgina East, then just 10 years old, wrote to Derbyshire Dales District Council asking why the play area and football pitches at Dimple Fields had disappeared after the opening of Arc Leisure Matlock.

This week Georgina, of Hurds Hollow, was celebrating after the play area was reopened by the District Council .

Georgina (13) even advised on the play equipment installed at the new attraction after polling her friends on what they liked from a list of equipment. The council also consulted pupils at the nearby All Saints Junior School.

Visiting the new play area this week, Georgina said: “I really am so pleased that the park has returned - and even better than it was before.

Chairman of the District Council’s Communities Committee Councillor Jennifer Bower explained it had always been the intention to reinstall the play area and revamp the football pitches, thanks to a £20,000 fund set aside as part of the Arc development.

“Georgina has been a tenacious campaigner for the return of this important local facility,” said Cllr Bower, “and although it has taken some time, I hope our action demonstrates that we do listen.” ”The District Council’s development of Arc Leisure Matlock is a continuing success story and the necessary removal of the play area during the construction was one of the few downsides..

“Initially the weather was against us. Following the levelling of the football pitches we had to abandon work in the autumn of 2010 because of very wet conditions; then extremely dry weather the following spring delayed germination of the new grass.

“But the pitches have now been back in action for some time and we have taken design advice from Georgina and the local junior school to resurrect the play area with a superb new aerial runway and a multi-activity unit and basket swing.”

An official re-opening ceremony – which will include Georgina as a VIP guest - will take place soon.