Children's play area in Abbey Fields will only be open on weekends from March

By James Smith

11th Feb 2024 | Local News

The play area in Abbey Fields has been open on weekdays for the past few months (image via Kenilworth Liberal Democrats)
The play area in Abbey Fields has been open on weekdays for the past few months (image via Kenilworth Liberal Democrats)

The children's play area in Abbey Fields will only be open on weekends and bank holidays again, once work on the new swimming pools resumes this spring.

This week Warwick District Council (WDC) announced it had agreed a new price of £22 million with developer Kier to start building the town's new leisure centre, with construction hoped to begin in March.

But once the project gets fully up and running again, the play area will no longer be accessible during the week, as it has been for the past few months.

"Until they start construction in March, the current arrangements will remain in place - so open all the time - unless we need to do something specific," programme manager Padraig Herlihy told the media on Wednesday (February 7).

"At the moment AR Demolition are in charge of the site and it was them who decided to open it [the play area] as a gesture to the public. 

"So it will stay open until March. Kier have agreed that when they arrive in March, it will go back to what was previously agreed, that on weekends and bank holidays it will be open.

"The rest of the time it will be closed."

Works at Abbey Fields have been paused since 2022 following the discovery of a number of archaeological remains.

Since then the council has secured updated planning approval to press ahead with the project, with some small design changes approved to preserve what has been discovered.

At the end of 2023 Warwick District Council (WDC) voted in favour of pressing ahead with the project, despite renewed calls from some councillors and residents to scrap the project and look for a new site.

WDC is expected to borrow from the Public Works Loan Board to finance the project, which was originally forecast to cost £8.5 million back in September 2021.

The huge increase in costs have been blamed on rising prices for building materials, particularly in the West Midlands.

     

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