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for the village of Wing in Buckinghamshire

Recreation Ground Improvement Project

Wing Recreation Ground Project

Many of you will have read the recent article in the latest issue of ‘What’s On In Wing’ highlighting issues surrounding the development and construction of a state-of-the-art Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) on the Wing Recreation Ground.

You will also have read the response by the Parish Council to the issue of how to plug the financial shortfall that is currently facing us as we work towards delivering this significant and momentous project for the village.

The idea of a ‘Plan B’ that has been proposed by a Working Group of interested stakeholders, is being looked at by the Parish Council but we have already been told that it would not be covered by the £398,000 New Homes Bonus funding as this amount cannot be reallocated. This has been checked and confirmed by Buckinghamshire Council. This would mean that this amount would be lost to Wing and we cannot allow this to happen.

The idea of a MUGA for the village was first raised some five or so years ago and initial plans that were proposed were immediately beset by a variety of planning problems, not least of all the surprise allocation of veteran tree status to the tree near the existing football pavilion which forced a last-minute need to relocate the proposed MUGA and prompt a rethink of the plans in March 2019.

The final plans that were proposed were professionally drawn up to be in line with the budgeted amount we had available. They were submitted and finally approved by the relevant planning department. The Parish Council was able to go out to tender once the plans were approved but the resultant tenders came in significantly over budget. This was a major surprise to the Parish Council as we had been told the plans were in line with the budget, and it has presented us with a problem that we need to resolve.

The Parish Council has no option but to stick with the original plans as we would lose funding if we opted for anything else. Any adoption of a Plan B would result in the loss of the New Homes Bonus funding which would be an unwanted outcome. It would prevent us from constructing the Pavilion, among other things.

But we need to decide as a village how to move forward on the MUGA project. Do we abandon aspects of the project for lack of funds, such as the Pavilion, or do we look at ways to raise additional funds to pay for the MUGA and adjoining amenities? It is worth noting that money needed to relevel and resurface the football pitch is unaffected and the project is going ahead. The Parish Council has instructed a contractor to carry out the work required to relevel and resurface the football pitch. Once approval from SGN (the gas network) is received, the fencing will be erected. It is anticipated that this will take place shortly, so please look out for updates on the Parish Council website and Facebook page.

At the last meeting of the Recreation Ground Working Party, it was agreed that applying for a Public Works Loan would be the best solution to provide the shortfall in funding for the Recreation Ground Improvements Project. At the February Parish Council meeting, the Council supported this view. While this process is to be carried out, external grants will also be applied for to try and reduce the amount in the shortfall required.

With the current pandemic, a majority of grant funding schemes have been placed on hold, but the Council is actively watching this situation and will continue to apply for grants as opportunities arise.

The consultation with the Parish on the application for a Public Works loan will be carried out online and via leaflet drop, where detailed information will be available. The consultation responses will be accepted from parishioners via a number of methods, including an online poll and written comments.

This will be an opportunity for villagers to find out more about the project, what is involved, and what can be done to deliver this exciting project. The Parish Council will be discussing this issue at an Extraordinary Meeting to be held shortly and will circulate details of the planned consultation. We will keep Parishioners fully informed of developments.