Cheers!

Revivify Manor Park Crowdfund Campaign hits target

We’re excited to announce that our crowdfund fund campaign has now hit target, as of Thursday 13th December, and raised in excess of £26,000.

Well over 120 lovely residents dug deep and made a pledge. We’ve also had huge support from some larger backers, including Mayor of London, Kier Highways, idverde, Shiraz Mirza Community Trust, our local St.James and Old Malden Ward Councillors, Rowan Bentall Charitable Trust and one large anonymous pledge – we know who you are.

A big congratulations to Fiona Sowell, the Friends of Manor Park Committee Secretary, who initiated and led this fundraising effort, supported by her fabulous fundraising team who spent hours posting fliers around the neighbourhood, making phone calls and contacting local businesses.

This is a major step forward in our work to improve Manor Park for the local community. You will ALL have the opportunity to be involved in the process of planning the future of YOUR park which will start in earnest in the New Year.

Background to our campaign

2019 is the 90th anniversary of Manor Park.1929 was the year that the Columbia Graphophone Company, transformed Newhouse Farm into a recreation ground for its employees.

That’s all a long time ago now, but this significant anniversary for Manor Park is a fantastic opportunity to kick-start a serious revival of our beloved local park – hence our Revivify Manor Park crowdfunding campaign.

When we set up the Friends of Manor Park Group residents told us what they wanted to see the park significantly improve. In fact, we had over 140 people turned up at our first meeting in April 2017 to tell us what their issues were, and what they’d like to see happen.

Here’s some of what they asked for:

  • Improving the playground – including widening the age range of the play facilities (in fact over 200 people took part in our playground survey)
  • Improving security – e.g. better lighting in the car park
  • Continuing the work of the late Cllr Howard Jones in completing and improving the pathways
  • Improvements to the sporting facilities – better playing surfaces and drainage
  • Better management of the natural spaces – work we’ve already begun
  • Lots of people are eager for a small café
  • Nicer toilet facilities
  • Better signage – it’s all looking rather sad
  • Better drainage – the park, in parts, can become a bog in the winter

…….and generally making the park feel a lot more loved.

We really want to see more of our local community making more use of the park, and we really want the local community to be the people who determine the future direction of Manor Park.

The lack of paths makes areas of the park hard, if not impossible, for wheelchair users to access during the wetter months of the year – which is totally unacceptable. If you want to jog around the park in the winter you’d currently need a pair of wellies.

Local children are reportedly asking to be taken to other nearby playgrounds, such as Cheam Park or Joseph Hood Rec, for the simple reason they have better play facilities. We want our local park to be the first choice for our children.

This is the start of a process of making the park more relevant to the WHOLE community.

So why did we run the crowdfund campaign?

After speaking with the Mayor of London’s team at the GLA, they made it clear that having a professional 4-year plan, drawn up by experts working closely with our local community, would give us a better plan, than if we just try to do things in a piecemeal way. It also makes it far more likely that we can receive significant funding from the larger grant giving organisation e.g. The Big Lottery Fund, Sports for England, Sports England etc for each of the elements in our plan. It would be chunked down into different phases e.g. year 1 we could improve the play facilities, year 2 to paths, and so on.

Peter Tagg, a local resident with experience of this type of funding, wrote to us to say:

‘I totally understand that you need to get a plan together otherwise you can’t leverage finance from any other funds or organisations.  Where I work the companies have set up a Business Improvement District (BID) and for a relatively modest levy, on top of the business rates, the BID is able to operate and has obtained very significant grants from the council, the Mayor’s Fund, TFL, the GLA to help improve the Industrial Estate.’

What will the money raised pay for?

The money raised in this crowd-funding appeal will pay for landscape designers who are expert in working with communities to revitalise public spaces. They will spend some of their time in our community finding out exactly what we want, they’ll also survey the park, and they’ll then create our master-plan, split down into whatever smaller projects we all agree to.

Please be re-assured we will still retain all that we love about Manor Park, including the beautiful quiet natural spaces, but we will end up with an amazing park that will benefit our whole community in many ways.

Community support made all the difference

Because there was such strong community support the Mayor of London decided to contribution over 50% of what we needed. This then let to a raft of bigger backers supporting our campaign.

We’re now even talking with Fulham Football Club Charity Foundation about a long-term partnership.

How to get involved

If you’d like to get involved with the planning work we’ll be kicking off in the New Year, please drop us an email to team@ourmmanorpark.org.uk. It’s our intention to involve the whole community – from the children and parents who use the playground, to the dogwalkers, to those who play one of a number of sports, and of course all the organisations who currently run or manage an activity in the park.

This is a park for ALL our local community.

Frequently asked questions

We also prepared a series of frequently asked questions which covers all the questions we’ve already been asked, and a few more