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Future of recreation ground secure
IT has been a green space at the heart of a Southampton community for more than 70 years.
And now Portswood Recreation Ground will provide children a place to play, dog walkers to walk and families to enjoy picnics for generations to come.
The two-acre field next to Portswood Primary School has two tennis courts and a play area.
It is affectionately known as ‘The Rec’ by locals and school pupils.
Now owners of the ground, Southampton City Council , has been given a charter which protects the ground from ever being sold off.
It was given under the QEII Fields challenge and comes as a UK-wide programme that aims to permanently protect 2012 outdoor recreational spaces, as part of the Olympic legacy and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
This will safeguard the field’s future and prevent property developers from building on the land.
It also has added value which increases the chance of getting grants to carry out improvement work.
Chairman of The Friends of Portswood Rec Beverley Piarce, 52, said “It is brilliant. It shows people we are serious in maintaining and improving the Rec.
“We hear about all the stories about playing fields being sold off and it is nice to have legally binding protection to stop this from happening.
“What we hope this can do is provide the Rec with some serious investment. There is plenty still to do to the park to improve it for years to come.”
Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Leisure Services, said: “Portswood Recreation Park was nominated to become a QEII Field in Trust because it is a wonderful open space where children have played for generations.
“It has a very keen and proactive friends group, who like other similar groups in the city work hard to look after and protect their parks.”