St. Francis Grove Play Area

before new play area pic one

Debbie Weatherill
March 2010

The St Francis Grove Play area was purchased by the Laceby Parish Council for £200/300 to be used as a play area for the new estate being built in that area. i.e. Keith Crescent, Kenmar Road, Charles Avenue etc, etc.

Over may years the play area has been improved by the Laceby Parish council, having installed various different types of play equipment ranging from wooden play equipment, swings, roundabout etc.  Over a good number of years the play equipment had deteriorated due to wear and tear, unfortunate vandalism and slowly the equipment installed was removed for safety reasons.

before new play area pic four

Debbie Weatherill
March 2010

By March 2010 the Play Area was left with only one set of swings and a see saw.  it was clear that the site required major updating.

In late 2010 the Butt Lane site owned by North East Lincolnshire Council was updated through grant aid via the Playbuilder Scheme – the Parish Council had been hopeful of some funding towards new play equipment for the St. Francis Grove Site, but this was not to be since the funding closed.

The Laceby Parish Council were left with two choices – leave the site as it was, or apply for funding elsewhere.  In order to apply for funding ideas had to be sought and prices obtained so that funding could be applied for.  Several companies were contacted and sent their details of suggested play areas through to the Parish Council for consideration.


artist impression st francis grove

Artist’s impression – Wicksteed Ltd

The Laceby Parish Council decided upon a design and applied for grant funding.

They were successful in obtaining Grant Funding from the Leader Programme and Wren Funding as well as a small grant via the Wold Fund operated by the Ward Councillors via North East Lincolnshire Council.

pic one start of new play area

Debbie Weatherill
April 2011




April 2011 saw the start of the new Play Area.

The older swings which were still in good condition were retain and updated with new seating and painting of the structure to match the new play area equipment.




pic two new play area

Debbie Weatherill
May 2011





May 2011 and the Play Area is starting to look something like a new site.





pic three new play area

Debbie Weatherill
May 2011


By the end of May the site was now looking good with all of the equipment installed and the two new benches, along with the new fencing surrounding the area.

The first layer of black wet pour safety surfacing has started to be laid in the photo shown to the right.


pic four new play area

Lia Nici Townend






At the beginning of June 2011 the second layer of coloured wet pour safety surfacing was being laid.

The Play Area was very nearly complete.






By the end of June 2011 the Play Area was ready to be opened.


The following is an extract from the media release sent to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph who were present at the official opening ceremony along with LEADER PROGRAMME and WREN FUNDING AGENCIES representatives being two of the main national grant funding agencies the Laceby Parish Council were able to obtain grants from.

St Francis Grove Play Area Laceby ‘ Tropical Adventure Playground’

Media Release

Official Opening of the St Francis Grove Play Area Laceby

2nd July 2011 at 2 p.m.

Two years ago a questionnaire was sent to all residents of Laceby asking what it was they wanted the Laceby Parish Council to do for them.  The overwhelming response was that they wanted more facilities for their children.  In response to this, the Laceby Parish Council set about obtaining funding for a new play area at their St Francis Grove park in Laceby.

Funding was obtained from several sources, the two main providers being 2 national agencies:-

WREN, the Waste Recycling Group Limited through the Landfill Communities Fund,


this is an agency that can distribute the landfill tax that North East Lincolnshire Council has to pay under the EU rules so it can be put back into the community and the


LEADER Programme (Rural Development Programme for England) jointly funded by Defra and the European Union which sponsors village renewal amongst other things.

The other funding received was from the North East Lincolnshire Council’s Wold Funds administered by the Ward Councillors Peter Mills and Melanie Dickerson, a small amount of funding from Novartis, the remainder being from the Laceby Parish Council themselves.

The St Francis Grove Play Area Tropical Adventure playground was provided for all children between the ages of 1 to 8 years since the Laceby Parish Council considered that children of this age group and those with disabilities were not fully catered for at other play areas within the Laceby village.

To bring such a project as this to fruition had taken a lot of hard work and money.  The two ladies who officially opened the new play area were former Councillor Lia Nici Townend and the Parish Clerk Debbie Weatherill, who did the lions share of the work so it was thought fitting that they should be asked to perform the opening ceremony.

On the opening day, the Laceby Parish Council provided children’s entertainment in the form of face painting, Dino the Dinosaur, balloon making and refreshments, and arranged a prize in association with the Wold Wild Life Fund of an adoption of an amur leopard, since this was considered a suitable prize for one of the children for the opening of the Tropical Adventure Play Area.

Since the opening of the Play Area, it has proved itself to be an asset for the village of Laceby and used a great deal by the younger children of the village.

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