WORK is nearing completion on a new village playground that has been a 13-year dream for the local community.

Campaigners in Flookburgh were delighted when a £34,000 grant from South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Locally Important Projects fund awarded earlier this year meant they could finally push ahead with their plans to transform an area of land on Moor Lane.

Families in Flookburgh had been working since 2004 to attract support and funding for the ambitious community project.

Now the park is taking shape and plans are being finalised for a grand opening.

SLDC’s community and leisure team has supported the Flookburgh and District Recreational Charity, which is leading on the project, helping it manage the consultation work, design and build of the new playground.

For SLDC councillor Gill Gardner, who represents the Holker ward which includes Flookburgh, it will be a particularly emotional moment.

“This playground campaign is the reason I first became a councillor, to do all I could to support it’’ explained Cllr Gardner, who is chair of the Flookburgh and District Recreational Charity.

“It has been more than 10 years of hard work so to see it so near to opening and looking so good is very, very special.

“I can’t wait to see the kids playing on it and enjoying it and for the whole community to see it. It has been a long road and there are quite a few people who thought it would never happen, but we have got there in the end with the help of this grant from the council.’’

The Flookburgh playground scheme was one of 16 new applications approved by SLDC in the latest round of Locally Important Projects (LIPs) grant funding worth £287,000.

The grants support the council’s priorities on the environment, housing, supporting the local economy, health and wellbeing.

Community groups, clubs and organisations such as local town and parish councils are eligible to apply.

SLDC leader, Cllr Giles Archibald, said: “These grants are proving to be a popular and highly effective way of supporting some excellent projects, like the creation of new play facilities in Flookburgh, which help local organisations and communities to achieve real results.”

Since 2013 SLDC has awarded 72 LIPs grants worth almost £1 million.