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Browick Park Set for Revamp

Jimmy Young Published: 26 May 2022

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Basketball hoop with no hoop

Town councillors in Wymondham have started the ball rolling on a regeneration project to the town’s Browick Road Recreation Ground, which should eventually deliver improvements to the skate park and other facilities.

A vote at April’s full council meeting saw the council’s entire £250,000 income from the latest Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payment set aside into a future fund for the park. CIL is money paid by developers to councils in order to help fund the infrastructure, facilities and services needed to support new homes and businesses.

The proposal from Councillors Suzanne Nuri-Nixon and Annette James (Lib Dem) received the necessary cross-party support from enough Conservatives to pass by 7 votes to 5. All councillors agreed works to the park were necessary.

Graffitied shelter

A further £20,000 has been allocated towards consultancy fees for the yet-to-be specified improvements, which could incorporate sporting facilities and “general leisure opportunities”. Tendering for consultants begins in May.

Cllr Nuri-Nixon said the money would make a big difference to Browick Park users in the future:

“We are lucky to have such a huge green space close to town but it was clear that Browick Park needed other improvements. After speaking to young people who use the skate park and wanted it revamped, we realised that the current leisure facilities could also be improved and added to.” 

Town Council sign

“Simple ideas such as installing paths, for example, would make the area more accessible for all. With the help of professional consultants we can come up with a vision and also approach other funders for the money needed to create a wonderful and free to use leisure space.”

Critics of the move argued it unnecessarily directed 100% of the cash, which the council has ready in its current account, away from smaller projects that could be delivered sooner:

“A £250k park revamp headline will look great on election leaflets in a year’s time. But this specific proposal puts the cart before the horse”, said Cllr Tony Holden (Con). “With no actual designs or plans in place, the money is unlikely to be spent for years and it means other town improvements will now have to wait.”

Annette James and Suzanne Nuri Nixon
Councillors Annette James and Suzanne Nuri-Nixon.

Cllr Kathryn Cross (Con) added: "I fully support the regeneration of Browick Park and I am excited to see the area transformed with new facilities and a much improved green space for our community. However this project is still very much in its infancy and is such a long way from actually getting off the ground that setting aside all the council's available CIL seems unnecessary and premature. Allocating these funds means we have nothing available for any other projects or any contingency for other ongoing improvements."

But proponents on the Town Council hope that committing a large sum now towards future development will attract more funding from other bodies to get the project off the ground sooner. Cllr Annette James responded:

“This park has huge potential to become the ‘go to’ green space in Wymondham. Our vision would see it redeveloped not only for sport but for improving general leisure, health and well-being opportunities for residents. It won’t be a cheap piece of work so early Council commitment to funding it was needed to show other funders we are serious. We are very excited to be able to move forward with the next stage of our plans.”

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