Fundraisers disappointed after final improvements for Verwood MUGA vetoed

Verwood resident Joanna Birley tries out the new wheelchair-friendly exercise equipment

Verwood resident Joanna Birley tries out the new wheelchair-friendly exercise equipment

First published in New Forest News by , Head of News

CAMPAIGNERS who raised more than £100,000 to provide a fantastic outdoor fitness area and courts in Verwood have been left bitterly disappointed after further improvements were vetoed by councillors.

Members of the Active Games for All committee (AGFA) managed to raise £103,000 to build a multi-use games area at the Memorial Hall, plus outdoor fitness equipment.

Verwood Town Council put in £50,000 and AGFA raised the remainder with grants from The Veolia Environmental Trust, Synergy Housing Trust, Christchurch and East Dorset District councils, their own fundraising and funds donated by many community groups and individuals.

Now a couple more pieces of equipment have been added, after a wait due to the ground being too wet to install them, But the committee hoped to improve on this further by installing rubber matting to keep the ground level, and seats for spectators and walkers.

However the trustees of the area, who are town councillors, voted six to five against any further work at the site, saying enough had been done there.

AGFA member Angela Daymond said: “We had hoped to spend our remaining funds, £6,500, on further improvements for the recreation ground - additional rubber matting around the other fitness items to stop wear and tear and some extra seats, but these offers have all been rejected by town councillors who are recreation ground trustees.

“They voted six votes to five against further development of the rec, despite a petition from users being handed to them.

“To say AGFA are disappointed would be an understatement and they will be calling a public meeting to debate who they donate their leftover funds to, so that the group's accounts can be wound up. It will need to be a group with similar aims.”

Anyone who has a suggestion for the use of the remaining funds can contact Mrs Daymond on 01202 822549.

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