One thing struck me when I came to work at Wicksteed Park.
Our newly refurbished Pavilion Café – now renamed the Ideas Café in honour of Charles Wicksteed’s many inventions – is a great place to eat a family meal or enjoy a coffee.
But, despite the many attempts over the years to provide indoor entertainment, I think the park has never really become an all-year round attraction.
Part of our forward planning for next year and beyond will hopefully change all that and we are currently finalising plans to transform an underused building at the top end of the park into an indoor play area with state-of-the-art attractions.
Watch this space for further details – but this is just one of the many new developments we have planned for the park.
I have mentioned previously that as a charity, we cannot rely on the same public funding that other parks and public open spaces enjoy.
So I am sure it is pleasing for everyone to see the money we receive from visitors being put back into improving the park for everyone.
We do require help, so we were delighted to receive some grant funding recently to help finance another of our new projects. A new sand and water play area is due to be completed by the boating lake in time for Easter after £50,000 was secured from not-for-profit organisation Wren, which supports community, conservation and heritage projects across the UK.
The new attraction will feature a host of interactive elements, including a building site-style climbing feature, tables where children can use sand to make mud pies and sand castles, fun-to-use water pumps and slides.
The completion of our lake restoration project has opened up the whole lakeside area and created lots of new opportunities to develop play throughout the park and this is another example of that.
We also have exciting plans involving our Astroglide and for a new aviary, all of which will be announced in due course.
But as you prepare to enjoy Christmas, I hope you are reassured that, while all the park’s festive entertainment and events are in full swing we are working hard behind the scenes to further develop what the park has to offer – both inside and out.