The two companies responsible for the new gas-fired Severn Power Station at Uskmouth have shown their appreciation for their Newport neighbours by funding the development of a new play area for the children of Nash village.
Cllr Bill Langsford (The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Newport, Newport CC); Cllr Annette Allen (Chair, Nash Community Council); Kristian Kure (Station Manager, Severn Power); Tegan Couch (Nash resident)
Danish-based power company DONG Energy, which owns the Severn Power Station, and Siemens plc, the company responsible for its design and construction, have jointly met the cost of replacing the old play equipment with a brand new play area featuring rides and slides chosen by the children themselves.
Various community groups, including Nash Community Council and local schools, as well as the Play Team from Newport City Council, were consulted closely to make sure that the play area would deliver what the children wanted, while conforming to all the appropriate safety regulations. The new facility was officially handed over to Newport City Council, who will maintain the play area, on Monday 16 May 2011.
Cllr Annette Allen (Chair, Nash Community Council); Alan Wilds (Divisional Director, Siemens Energy Fossil Power Division); Cllr Bill Langsford (The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Newport, Newport CC); Kristian Kure (Station Manager, Severn Power); Pat Bartlett (Clerk, Nash Community Council); Cllr Michael Hamilton (Cabinet Member for Continued Learning, Newport CC)
Kristian Kure, the station manager for DONG Energy, said: “As a European energy business, our primary aim is to provide clean and reliable energy supplies, while at the same time acting responsibly towards our employees, the local population, the environment and the markets in which we operate.
“The people of Nash village are among Severn Power Station’s nearest neighbours and so we wanted to do something special for them. In consultation with Nash Community Council, it became clear that the community wanted somewhere safe and stimulating for village children of all ages to play. We were delighted to be able to provide a new facility in joint venture with Siemens.” Alan Wilds, Divisional Director of Siemens Energy Fossil Power Division, added: “Siemens has a strong commitment to local communities. In the case of our neighbours at Nash Village, we – together with DONG Energy – were keen to provide something really positive and tangible for the community. The play area project was a fantastic opportunity to do this and make a lasting contribution.”
Community say leads to safer playThe important task of balancing community goals for the new play area with the requirements of the local authority and safety regulations was given to contractor Wicksteed Ltd, the leading provider of playground and sports equipment in the UK.
They were given some initial ideas at a brainstorming meeting attended by company and community representatives. A primary concern for parents was the security of the play site, particularly for younger children, and this was taken into account during the development phase. Once an initial design had been agreed with the village, it was submitted to Newport City Council’s Sports and Leisure department for consideration.
At the Council’s request, two detailed design options were developed. Intended to make the play area as inclusive as possible, the designs included play equipment that was suitable for children from two years to sixteen years old. The Council then liaised with schools in the area to ensure that children could make the final decision.
The final design includes a pendulum swing and cradle swings, a trampoline, a Forbidden City multi-play unit, sit-in spring mobile, a wobble board and a spinner. The new play equipment is set in a landscaped area incorporating a winding pathway and eco-friendly safety grass matting. The area is defined by a new perimeter rail that is designed to prevent younger children in particular inadvertently running into the road. The new play area has been certified by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).