Outdoor Gym in John Burrows Park
A report by Hadleigh Community Group, August 2021
The Outdoor Gym which has just opened near the tennis courts was originally discussed in Sept 2018 following the Hadleigh Community Group’s first Community Summer Fayre in the same park. Whilst celebrating the success of the Fayre, the Community Group considered the possibilities for either a “trim trail” just inside the park or a multi-use gym area (MUGA) as previously suggested by Simon Hart to the Castle Point Borough Council (CPBC.)
Following detailed research of trim trail costings and obtaining CPBC’s agreement in principle, the idea was side-lined due to cost. However, quotes were obtained from suppliers of outdoor gyms and Caloo Ltd was selected as supplier based on
- the best quality hardwearing product;
- a 25 year Warranty; and
- a mobile phone app enabling users to both track fitness progress and report equipment maintenance issues.
Then followed two years of Kevin’s hard work writing the business case for funding needed to secure grants from Veolia Environmental Trust (gym equipment), AVIVA (safety flooring), Essex County and CPBC (installation).
The official opening handover on 4th August 2021 had the following in attendance:
- Trudie Bragg – Head of Environmental Services (CPBC)
- Rebecca Harris MP Castle Point
- Jill Reeves – Vice Chair Essex County Council
- Mrs Pat Haunts – Mayor of CPBC
- Castle Point councillors Andrew Sheldon (Council Leader,) Jacqui Thornton, Simon Hart and Paul Varker
- From Hadleigh Community Group: Karen Knox Chairperson, Kevin Foley Treasurer, Darren Dukes, Vincent White, Glennis Summerhill, Kevin Smith.
The whole project included over 450 emails since September 2018; included reducing the area of the MUGA to halve cost , and therefore amending the planning application which was granted late 2020 by CPBC. The pandemic effects on building supplies doubled construction time to 4 weeks but the whole project has produced a worthy testament to the Hadleigh Community Group’s hard work to help improve Hadleigh; which – in addition to Hadleigh Community Summer Fayre – also includes delivery of the annual Christmas Lights and flower basket displays along with many other improvements across our town.