**PROGRESS UPDATE STATEMENT**
In Summer 2018 our target funding of £250,000 was secured meaning the time has come to start work on replacing the play area in Verulamium Park. Funds raised by Verulamium at Play supporters have been added to money allocated by St Albans City & District Council (“SADC”) for this project and our charity continues to work hand-in-hand with SADC to put an outstanding play area in our City’s beautiful park.
On 21st November members of Verulamium at Play met with several key council officers including Richard Shwe (SADC Deputy Chief Executive Commercial and Development), Joe Tavernier (SADC Head of Community Services) and Dan Flitton (Parks and Green Spaces Officer), to discuss a timeline for moving the play area project forwards. We were very encouraged by the enthusiastic support of SADC to this project and its obvious commitment to improving play opportunities in St Albans. The group discussed the additional complexities involved with this play area replacement due to the fact it sits within an area designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by Historic England because of the sensitive Roman archaeology in Verulamium Park.
We are now working to the following tentative timeline:
December 2018 -Jan 2019 – Verulamium at Play to work with SADC officers on producing a number of design concepts (in addition to the indicative design we have already commissioned) and concept ideas suitable for public discussion
February/March 2019 – public consultation period including public meeting on 12 February at Verulamium Museum 5-8pm
March 2019 – SADC to liaise with Historic England on the preferred design concept.
April 2019 – Project put out to tender
May-June 2019 – seek Historic England consents and planning permission for new play area
September 2019 – contractors begin work on new play area
Verulamium at Play remains committed to ensuring any new play area provides better play opportunities for children with additional needs and will continue to champion this cause during our work with SADC.