Friends of East Avenue Park

East Avenue, Heald Green

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Over many years, East Avenue Park had become a sad reflection of its former self and a "Friends of East Avenue Park" group was formed in 2004, following a public meeting organised by the Ratepayers, to co-ordinate ideas and raise funds to restore the Park. As a voluntary group, "The Friends" can access funding which the Council cannot and have been bidding for funding from various sources.

The “Friends” group meets regularly with the Park Development Officer from Stockport Council and over the last few years have developed plans and successfully raised funds to improve the facilities in the park. Pupils from Etchells Primary School also helped to formulate the plans and have helped with litter-picking in the park as well as planting 10,000 spring bulbs over the past 4 years.

Most of the Friends group’s plans have now been realised and work is almost finished to make East Avenue Park a place for fitness and healthy exercise for Heald Green residents of all ages.

The “Friends” group wanted to re-lay the quarter mile perimeter path and make it into a safe exercise track for everyone, whether it be for power-walking, jogging, skateboarding, scootering, cycling with care, pushing a buggy, using a wheelchair, driving a mobility scooter or walking the dog. The new track was funded with a successful bid by the Friends of East Avenue Park for a Biffaward of £43,000 through the Land Refill Tax Scheme, together with some funding from Stockport Council.

Three pieces of outdoor gym equipment, intended to exercise different parts of the body, have been installed. It’s like going to the gym but in the fresh air and it’s FREE! The gym equipment is intended for anyone of adult size without any upper age limit. If it proves popular, there may be opportunity to add further pieces of equipment.

Particularly for young people, the Friends group obtained funding for a multi-use games area (MUGA) on the site of the disused tennis courts. The surface has been re-laid with new edgings. Two goal ends have been installed and games markings painted. The other half of the hard surface area is to have road markings and games marked out for under eight year olds, once the cold weather has finished.

Funding for the MUGA and the surface markings came from:

Brookfield Green Family Trust Fund, Awards for All (Lottery), Manchester Airport Community Fund, Heald Green Youth Club Trust Fund, Police Property Act Fund, Co-operative Community Fund, Stockport Youth Opportuntiy Fund, IMPACT, Heald green Festival Committee, Greenspace Development Grant and SMBC. The Friends group wish to thank those organisations for the funding.

The Friends of East Avenue previously also received funding for benches and litter bins from Heald Green Ratepayers’ Association, Heald Green Festival Committee and IMPACT and again the group wish to thank those donors.

Stockport Youth Service obtained funding for football coaching for over 12’s on Friday nights during the Summer of 2008 and this was very popular and successful. Basketball coaching is being arranged from Easter 2009 and possibly football coaching later in the year. The group have other plans in the pipeline for the children’s play area but it you have any ideas about the future of the park, please contact Margaret Burns, Friends Group Chairman, 437 7197.

The hedge at the front of the park has been replaced by a fence and new gates. This improves visibility and security in the park. The Police are prioritising East Avenue Park for security observations, especially at the week-ends.