A Bury St Edmunds community is fighting to put the ‘heart’ back into its estate after receiving a £10,000 boost towards the renovation of a dilapidated play area.
Following the closure of The Priors Inn - hailed as ‘the heart of the community’ - a year ago, the Priors Estate Action Group is leading a £140,000 project to redevelop the playground, in Ashwell Road.
The scheme, which will include new play equipment and disabled facilities, received a Christmas boost after Bury St Edmunds Town Council pledged £10,000 towards the scheme - on top of £60,000 which has already been promised by St Edmundbury Borough Council.
The borough council also hopes to secure up to £68,000 of section 106 funding, reserved to provide infrastructure with new housing projects, from The Priors Inn’s developers Havebury Housing Partnership.
Action group member Frank Palfrey said: “The pub was the social hub of the estate, and now we have no meeting area as such.
“The playground is going to be a lot better for the children - the equipment is out of date and in very bad condition.”
The action group, formed after the pub’s closure, has made it its aim to improve or establish facilities on the estate.
St Edmundsbury borough councillor for Minden ward Clive Springett said: “The playground is particularly important to the residents as they have been involved in the design and the fundraising.
“I believe this project will be the start of more good things to come from the residents association and residents working together.”
A borough council spokesman said: “This is a community led project by the Priors Estate Action Group working alongside the council.
“The existing play area has been there for around 20 years, and is in need of replacement.”