Primary school playground improvement project completes

RR Community fund- SMATT school

A playground improvement project at St Margaret’s at Troy Town School in Rochester, part-funded by the Rochester Riverside Community Board, was completed in time for the start of the new school term last month.

The project, one of seven funded by the Rochester Riverside Community Board in 2019, involved the repair and improvement of the playgrounds and outside classroom learning areas at the school. The £15,000 cost was part-funded with £5,000 from the Rochester Riverside Community Board, which was matched by the school and PTFA, and also supported by local builder Ellen Gray who created the outdoor planters at no additional cost.

As an urban school, St Margaret’s at Troy Town is entirely reliant on playgrounds and a sports court; none of which have been updated since they were built in 1998. New equipment has now been installed in the playground, along with new markings for games and a ‘walk-a-mile’ pathway which supports Public Health’s initiatives across Medway encouraging young children to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Furthermore, a pergoda has now been installed, providing a new outdoor learning area for the school. This extra outdoor teaching and social space is particularly valuable given current social distancing guidelines.

The Rochester Riverside Community Board was set up to ensure that the benefits of Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s £419m regeneration scheme in Medway, are felt across the area, bringing to life worthwhile initiatives and ideas that enhance the local area with an annual budget of £30,000 available for selected community-led projects.

These initiatives follow the success of other community projects that have already been supported by the Board, which included the Medway Neuro-Arts Festival, Jasper’s Community Café, and more – all of which are showcased on the Rochester Riverside community website.

Guy Slocombe, Chief Investment Officer at Hyde, said: We’re all aware of the tough time facing schools at the moment, and so we’re glad we can support St Margaret’s at Troy Town Primary School with this valuable outdoor learning space and improved playground. We hope the pupils enjoy their new playground and outdoor learning area, which will be so beneficial for their social experience as well as their health and wellbeing.”

Andrew Usher, Managing Director, Partnerships South London, Countryside, commented:This project is real evidence of meaningful community engagement and partnership working, all of which are principles of our Rochester Riverside regeneration. We’re delighted to have strengthened our relationship with the Pilgrim Trust, who will be managing the new Rochester Riverside Primary School. We’re committed to the wider success of Rochester and improving the provision of education across the area as a key part of this.”

Jan Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of The Pilgrim Multi Academy Trust, said: “St Margaret’s at Troy Town Primary School is such a lovely school, truly valued by all who know it; families, staff, governors and friends. This project was a wonderful collaboration between business, community, Trust, school and PTFA; which in such challenging times is a positive, refreshing example of what can be achieved when we all pull together. A real good news story with a beneficial legacy that everyone should be really proud of.”

The Community Board ensures that the community funds will be allocated to local stakeholders and organisations through a robust and transparent application process. Funding applications for 2020 are still open - those interested should apply now by visiting www.rochesterriversidecommunity.com.

Rochester Riverside is the region’s flagship regeneration project. Delivered by Countryside and Hyde over the next 12 years, it will create a new mixed-tenure community of up to 1,400 new homes, a new primary school, nursery, hotel, 2.5km river walkway, commercial units, parking, green open spaces, play areas and landscaping.

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