AN ‘outstanding’ scheme which has seen volunteers and businesses come together to give Royston Park’s once-ailing pavilion a new lease of life has landed a top award.
Royston Park sits in the centre of the village but, in recent years, its pavilion – once the centrepiece of the green space – has become neglected, underused and the subject of repeated vandalised.
Coun Caroline Makinson, who became anxious to find the best way to rejuvenate the important community asset, turned to NPS Barnsley for help in looking at the best and most practical options.
The project, which is now finished, landed the leisure title at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards.
Coun Makinson said: “I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone that played a part in the renovation, the support was absolutely critical to achieving our vision for this community building and restoration of the bandstand.
“Our vision was to make the community’s pavilion a safe place for children and young people’s activities, right on the doorstep in Royston Park, for the use of everyone.
“This building with the new facilities now in place is proving to be that place. The opportunities are endless and we are really looking forward to what the future holds.”
Coun Caroline Makinson paid tribute to NPS Barnsley, the property and design firm overseeing the project – which has benefited from Section 106 money from local housing developers.
As well as NPS’s involvement, students from Outwood Academy, in Carlton, have joined Wickes in partnership with Volunteer It Yourself to help with the renovation which has also seen local firms chip in to provide materials such as skips, paint and nails.
Coun Makinson said: “The contribution NPS has given has been outstanding – it’s a project that’s been supported by multiple businesses and everyone’s come together with the pavilion’s refurbishment in mind.
“It’s really important to highlight the support we’ve had on top. The total contribution is estimated to be in excess of £40,000, including £20,000 Section 106 funding, and then all other partners’ expenses and voluntary hours.
“The students have thoroughly enjoyed being involved and are being mentored by professional tradespeople, resulting in them gaining a City and Guilds accreditation while having invaluable on-site training.”
The pavilion, which was previously used solely by the village’s football teams, has been redesigned inside to make better use of its indoor space.
“All of the companies involved were enthusiastic about bringing this back to life so have started to give the bandstand a new look,” Coun Makinson added.
“Without everyone pulling in the same direction, the refurbishments wouldn’t have been able to go ahead.”
The facility, which won the Yorkshire and Humber title, will now go forward to the national awards in September.
The judges added: “Due to recent neglect and vandalism of the pavilion, the local council and community decided to embark on a sympathetic refurbishment to put this important asset back into use.
“The level of community engagement during the refurbishment was exceptional and included work experience opportunities and mentoring programmes for young residents.
“These are just some of the points that made this scheme stand out from the others and we hope it continues to benefit community going forward.”