New path to boost West Park

A POPULAR open space is set to become even more popular thanks to a funding boost.

A £24,852 grant has been given by the Sita Trust to improve access to West Park.

It is being added to funding from two councils and a patch of donated land.

The scheme will enable West Park to be used all year round by installing an all-weather path around the perimeter of the seafront site.

This will improve the ability of wheelchair and motorised-chair users to enjoy the area when the ground is soft. It will also be useful for mums with pushchairs.

A new access will also be created to replace a potentially dangerous unofficial route.

Jan Malpas, chairman of the Friends of West Park, said: “The all-weather path and the northern bridge access is just fabulous for the park users and all residents of the local community.

“We really look forward to seeing the final result and to welcoming new, dry shod, park users into this wonderful park.

“It has been great to see parish and district councils working with us to make this project come to life.”

Jools Granville, of Sita Trust, said: “We have been delighted to be able to support this project through the Landfill Communities Fund.”

The funding application was compiled by Arun District Council with the Friends, Aldwick Parish Council and Southern Water.

Arun and Aldwick councils added to the grant and Southern Water is happy for a small piece of its land to be incorporated into the access path.

At present, the park becomes muddy in the winter, ruling out anyone who is disabled, or mums with young children, from using it.

There is also an unofficial entrance at the north end of West Park which can be dangerous in bad weather.

Supporters say putting an official bridge there will both make that entrance safe and open up West Park to the Aldwick Felds area.

Currently, park users have to either risk the makeshift access or walk just over half-a-mile to use the Silverton Avenue access.

The bridge will be wide enough to allow cyclists to enjoy the new access as well.

Organisers hope this will encourage more cycling in the Bognor Regis area by creating a safe and enjoyable route to join the existing route along the seafront.

Sita Trust provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The funding source has been available since 1997. Since then, it has provided projects, such as that in West Park, with more than £1.3bn.

The trust is part of the fund which is created from a small part of the tax levied on each ton of waste which goes to landfill.

It is used to support a wide range of environmental projects near landfill sites.