Work to start on new Vicarage Lane Play Park in Ilford in autumn despite funding shortfall

The plans for the new Vicarage Lane Play Park.

The plans for the new Vicarage Lane Play Park. - Credit: Archant

New sports facilities being built on disused allotments will be available to Seven Kings and Goodmayes residents by the end of autumn, it is hoped.

Organisers have been gathering grants for the Vicarage Lane Play Park for five years and attended a meeting of Redbridge Council’s area committee five to request more funding yesterday at Barley Lane Primary School, in Huxley Drive, Chadwell Heath.

The project aims to transform an empty plot of land between Vicarage Lane and Benton Road, in Ilford, with a brand new multi-use games area, outdoor gym, play space and car park.

There will also be new plants, trees and wildlife-friendly landscaping.

Restored allotments, run by Seven Kings and Goodmayes Allotment Society will also remain at the site.

But the project, with an estimated cost of nearly £250,000, has fallen short of cash and needs more funds to be completed.

Harminder Singh Sura requested an additional £5,500 from the committee on top of the £3,750 granted last year.

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He said: “I am convinced many people will benefit – I know the real value of sport for all people, irrespective of age.”

The site is almost a mile away from the nearest park and organisers hope it will inspire residents of all ages to get involved in sport.

Nearby schools St Aidan’s Catholic Primary and the Palmer Catholic Academy will be able use the facilities.

The funding application said the park could help tackle above-average levels of child obesity in the area, anti-social behaviour and create opportunities for local sports teams.

The committee agreed unanimously to grant the funding but Cllr Ali Hai asked for an update on exactly how it would be spent.

Around £210,000 has already been raised through former council grants, charity funds and other national schemes.

The Vicarage Lane Play Park group is also requesting a grant from the area seven committee.

To get involved in the project, email secretary Roger Backhouse on