Work is set to start on a £100,000 upgrade at a Gainsborough park – including the introduction of CCTV after a spate of vandalism.
The project will see the play area at Richmond Park undergo a complete makeover with a new multi-use games area, with play equipment for all age ranges.
An outdoor fitness zone is also included in the project.
However, despite the excitement around the project, Gainsborough Town Council has been forced to include provision for CCTV around the site in response to recent vandalism, which included damage to disabled toilets and a water feature last month.
The new CCTV cameras will be monitored by West Lindsey District Council’s camera control room and will have direct links to the local police.
The cameras are part of a wider scheme which will see the whole town’s CCTV system upgraded following investment from West Lindsey District Council.
Councillor Kenneth Woolley, new Gainsborough Mayor, has visited the CCTV control room and says he is “very impressed” with the new technology and its capabilities.
Coun Woolley said: “With such a major investment into what looks set to be a fantastic newly-upgraded play area, it is essential we take steps to ensure the new equipment is protected as far as possible against the mindless vandals that have regularly targeted Richmond Park.
“The CCTV will not only cover the play area, but also the gardens and grounds around the main building.
“The park is much loved by the town and holds fond memories for many generations of families who have visited it over the years.
“It is vital that we act to protect it.
“While it is a shame that public money has to be spent on such security measures we have to recognise the threats faced and respond and act accordingly.”
The Richmond Park site will be closed while works are undertaken.
Councillor Matthew Boles, Gainsborough Town Council leader, said: “Following a recent and sustained spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour, the council has disappointingly had to take the decision to invest thousand of pounds into CCTV cameras around the park. This is disappointing, but has become essential due to these continued mindless acts by a small few who should be ashamed.
“We hope these steps can reduce these incidents and also make visitor feel safe and secure and enjoy their visit.” Coun Boles said it is hoped the park will be open for use in time for the school summer holiday.
Dates and times of the closure and subsequent reopening will be detailed on the council’s website at www.parishes.lincolnshire.gov.uk/gainsborough and Facebook page.
As well as investment at Richmond Park, the council has also secured additional funding which will see investment in a number of other smaller play area sites including Aisby Walk, Danes Road, Mayflower Close and St Georges.
Danes Road will see more than £50,000 invested into new play equipment, refurbishment of the existing equipment as well as perimeter safety fencing which was requested by nearby schoolchildren as part of pre-project consultation.