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WREN grant supports Millennium Green revamp

WORK to expand the play area at Millennium Green has started thanks to a £50,000 grant from WREN.

The play area expansion marks the latest stage in an ambitious revamp of the park in Craven Road, which has secured more than £100,000 in funding.

Earlier this year, Benn's Friends, working in partnership with the council and ward councillors, secured a £10,000 grant from the Government's Pocket Parks programme, paving the way for a new multi-use games area at Millennium Green.

A £45,000 grant from SUEZ Communities Trust, formerly SITA Trust, led to new play area equipment being installed soon after, while raised beds for residents to grow fruit, herbs and vegetables were introduced at the park with the support of £1,500 from Warwickshire County Council's councillor grants fund.

The WREN grant means the park's play area can now be extended, with new equipment including swings and a climbing nest with slide.

The expansion also includes new seating, planting and landscaping, and a new 'superbin' which stores litter-picking equipment so residents can help keep the park spick and span.

Work on the expansion looks set to be completed in September.

Cllr Maggie O'Rourke, chair of Benn's Friends, said: "The refurbishment of Millennium Green has been a real team effort, with the community working in partnership with the council to draw up the plans and secure more than £100,000 in funding.

"The hard work has really paid off and we're all looking forward to the completion of the refurbishment next month."

Following the refurbishment, the park will be known as Brian Whistance Millennium Green, in memory of the late ward councillor who played an instrumental role in the creation of the park at the turn of the century.

Cllr Lisa Parker, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for the environment and public realm, said: "Millennium Green has been transformed thanks to the generosity of funders such as WREN and the hard work of Benn's Friends, who have worked with us to secure grants and make sure the improvements meet the needs of residents.

"By working in partnership, we have given the park a new lease of life and created facilities which can be enjoyed by the whole community."

WREN, a not-for-profit business, awards grants for community projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Joe Newby, grant manager for WREN, said: "We're delighted to be supporting the Millennium Green project and pleased our funding will help rejuvenate such a fantastic facility for children and young families across Rugby.

"WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that make a difference to local communities and we're really looking forward to seeing this one take shape soon."

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