Documents released by the city council show plans to use over £600,000 in Levelling Up funding to create a brand new paddling pool and improve local parks, with water play and toilet facilities the subject of a lottery fund bid for phase two of works.
The report states that the paddling pool has for many years been in need of investment and in recent years the facility has had to be closed due to failure in the pumping system and pool infrastructure.
The current paddling pool is 70 years old and no longer repairable.
Plans will hopefully start in the New Year for the public to see and help shape.
The public responses to consultation clearly identified support / demand for its improvement and reopening.
It continues to say that during the summer months the value of an outdoor water-based facility has been clearly demonstrated particularly during the long periods of dry and extreme hot weather.
This has also been exaggerated by the cost of living crises, says the report, as many families have stayed at home during the summer holidays and many would have visited the paddling pool if it was not closed.
Such a facility is likely to draw people from a wider area than just the Meadows and instead from across Nottingham given that there are no other similar facilities in the city.
Local consultation was carried out during the summer and has now concluded.
The consultation has confirmed overwhelming support for a replacement paddling pool facility.
This evidence of need has been used to help secure additional funding from the Levelling Up Parks fund. This additional funding has all been confirmed and will be matched against the S106 Funds. Section 106 (S106) Agreements are legal agreements between Local Authorities and developers; these are linked to planning permissions and can also be known as planning obligations.
A sizeable chunk of the money has only recently come from Section 106 payments made by developers of student accommodation on the edge of the Meadows.
Following the paddling pool public consultation that took place during the summer 2022, the response confirmed an overwhelming level of support to regenerate the paddling pool facility.
The consultation engaged with 2,125 people in total and there is a positive response to a new water play facility although a number of people are keen to keep the existing pool.
In terms of what sort of water play people want to see, it is very mixed and an option which includes traditional paddling pool elements, splash park elements and also interactive water play elements (which can perhaps be opened all year round) would meet the needs of everyone.
There are also requests for toilets, changing facilities and refreshments.
Elements from all these suggestions are now being incorporated into the revised scope for the project.
The revised phase 1 paddling pool project will include:
• A fully DDA ( Disability Discrimination Act ) compliment paddling pool and splash pad & new pumping system.
The addition of toilets and changing facility and children’s water play facilities has been identified as a key priority within the consultation. These proposal have been identified as a second phase of works. It is proposed that a bid be submitted to the NLHF ( National Lottery Heritage Fund ) to help fund these works.
In the proposals are contributions towards the completion of the Victoria Embankment Restoration project, play area improvements at Queens Walk Recreation Ground and also the delivery of the Bulwell Forest Covid Memorial Tree Planting project.
These project have been identified as they are all linked to both the S106 contributions and Parks Levelling Up Funds. The projects are all identified as ward based green space priorities or linked and named within the planning agreements or linked to existing capital projects that are currently in progress.
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This still all needs to be agreed, but the report recommends:
• To delegate the authority to the director of neighbourhood services to start the procurement of design and to procure a design and build Paddling Pool contractor and to enter into contracts relating to the projects.
• To note the submissions of a bid to NLHF to deliver the phase two paddling pool proposals