Battersby Junction Community Association
Battersby Junction, Battersby Middlesbrough
Battersby Junction Community Association has embarked on an ambitious project to transform an empty field, with contaminated soil, into a vibrant recreation space for all ages of a rural to community to enjoy.
The Community Association was set up in 2009 when a local landowner, recognising the need for recreation space in the village, donated some land. It might not appear that such spaces are important in a rural area but the children can’t go kicking a ball around in fields with crops or livestock, and the younger children can’t go riding their bikes down remote country lanes. Our nearest play area is over 3 miles away and some of the houses in the village have no gardens.
We now have planning permission for an exciting play space with equipment for children of all ages, an open space for community events, and bike track where the younger children can safely learn to ride. We have started to install play equipment, but there is lots more to do. The play space is proving popular with local children, and those from nearby farms and neighbouring villages where there is also no recreation space.
The group is run by volunteers from the village. We raise funds through community events, cake sales and raffles, to pay for equipment and to help match fund any grants we are eligible for.
The land is owned by the Community Association and, at our request, when it was given to us we asked for a restrictive covenant to protect the lands charitable purpose, preserving it for future generations.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
A few years ago one of the local children wrote "I would like a playground because I like swings and roundabouts, ie it would be a fun place to play with my friends. It would make that place look better”.
There are at least 400 people in the village and neighbouring villages and farms who will benefit -all withing walking distance. The majority of the children in the parish live in Battersby Junction, so the recreation space is a great focal point for the children from the surrounding area. The older residents will have somewhere to take their grandchildren, improving everyone’s health and well being, and getting people out in the open air.
The child was six when she wrote the letter. It was to support us in a grant application to pay for cleaning up the contamination left by the railway and get us started with some of the play equipment. She is now nine. Although we didn’t get the grant were undeterred! We kept fundraising and by applying for other grants we managed to clean the land in 2016 and install some equipment but we are not as far on as we had hoped. Its a lot for a small community like ours to achieve, and £500 would go a long way towards finishing the project and would help us get that slide!
""The development of the play area at the settlement of Battersby Junction is a major achievement for such a small community. Identifying a suitable site, securing it along with getting the necessary planning permission took several years.This was followed fundraising and by undertaking major works to turn the former derelict railway siding into a usable area of grassland on which the play area could be developed for use by the community.
The Community Association and many volunteers are to be congratulated for getting the play area off the ground and in starting the development works. It has been a major achievement. Everyone is looking forward to its completion later in the year, this grant will make an important contribution to achieving this."
Chairman Ingleby Greenhow Parish Council"