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Troopers Hill Field Play Area
How the Grants were Won

SITA Trust Obtaining the grant funding for the new play area took more than 12 months of hard work by members of Friends of Troopers Hill and the small group of parents we were working with.

News of the grant from SITA Trust for the first phase (for fenced under 5s play area) in January 2016 meant that all the effort was worthwhile.

Veolia Environmental Trust The news in March that we had also been successful in our second grant application to Veolia Environmental Trust was the icing on the cake!. This was for the phase 2 works to construct an activity trail for slightly older children.

The two phases could now be constructed at the same time. Following a tender process, the work was carried out in September & October 2016, the Play Area Page has full details.

The sections below set out the timeline of the process we went through to win the grants in 2015 and gives details of the various consultations that we sent out.


Initial Plans ✔ Initial Discussions & meetings to agree proposals - Jan/Feb 2015
✔ Design produced based on inital ideas by HAGS-SMP- Mar 2015
✔ Match funding from St George Neighbourhood Partnership - Mar 2015
✔ Prepare, agree & print consultation leaflet - April 2015
✔ Public Consultation - May 2015
✔ Announce consultation results - June 2015
✔ Design workshop to finalise design brief - July 2015
✔ Write design brief - July/Aug 2015
✔ Seek quotations for agreed design from approved suppliers - Aug/Sept 2015
✔ Write & submit grant application for fenced under 5s play area and footpath - Sept/Oct 2015
✔ Write & submit grant application for activity trail (5s to 11s) - Oct/Nov 2015
✔ Respond to queries from grant body for under 5s - Nov 15 - Jan 2016
✔ Grant award for fenced under 5s play area from SITA Trust - Jan 2016
✔ Respond to queries from grant body for activity trail - Nov 15 - Feb 2016
✔ Grant award for activity trail from Veolia Environmental Trust - Mar 2016

Initial Ideas

Early in 2015, Chris (a local dad) started the process to have an improved play area installed on Troopers Hill Field and approached Friends of Troopers Hill with his ideas.

In order to help move the project forward we had a design for possible play facilities drawn up based on our initial ideas. This was by no means a final design but it gave an impression of the type of play area that could be installed. These are shown in the drawings below, or download the full information sheet.

The play area would be located on the allotments side of the Field near the log climbing feature installed in 2009 (which is shown bottom-right on the plan below). The main area would be aimed at children of under 5, while the activity trail would be for 5 to 11 year olds. A path would be constructed from the Summerhill Terrace entrance and this would also be used as an access to carry out the works.

Initial poroposalsInitial poroposals
Initial poroposals
Design ideas only - this is not a final design.

Our thanks to HAGS-SMP for drawing up this design.

Match Funding - March 2015

Improving the play area at Troopers Hill Field (along with that at nearby Dundridge Park) has been set as a priority by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership as part of the Neighbourhood Partnership Plan adopted in December 2014.

We are pleased to say the St George Neighbourhood Partnership agreed at its meeting on 25th March 2015 to ringfence £15,000 of 'Section 106' money for use on this project.

Having this “match funding” in place was a key element in our successful application. As well as match funding the main grants this funding will be used to cover project management costs and any contingencies.

Consultation - 13th May to 1st June 2015

Week In ArticleEarlier consultations had shown that local people would like improved play facilities on Troopers Hill Field but we needed to be sure that that was still the case and, if so, for what age range the play area should be designed. In May we distributed a consultation leaflet to local homes and schools and the consultation was also available on-line.

We had an excellent response to the consultation and were delighted to see that our proposals were strongly supported by local people. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond.

From a total of 481 responses received just over 95% of replies were in favour of a new play area.

Over 84% of respondents said children under 5 needed play equipment with a slightly higher percentage, nearly 91% saying it was needed for children aged 5-11. Nearly 82 % of replies were in favour of a play area for children under 5 being fenced, this fell to just under 50% for 5-11 years old.

Download a full report on the results of the consultation >>

Thank you to the Week In for printing the article about the consultation shown above (click on image to enlarge).

Design Work Shop Sunday 5th JulyDesign Workshop

The results of this survey give Friends of Troopers Hill and the parents leading this project a clear mandate to go ahead with a design consultation aimed at encouraging local people to say what should be included in a play area for children under 5 and 5-11 year olds.

This design consultation took place on the afternoon of Sunday 5th July.

We had hoped to hold the event in Troopers Hill Field but unfortunately due to rain we had to move to Summerhill Methodist Church (which had been advertised as an alternaive wet weather venue).

The weather meant we had a lower attendance than we had hoped, but meant that we were able to have more in depth conversations with those who did attend and we heard some interesting ideas and suggestions. We were particularly pleased that two residents whose homes are immediately adjacent to the Field were able to attend.

Both the consultation and the workshop showed support for our original proposal for a fenced area aimed at children of under 5 with an adjacent activity trail for 5 to 11 year olds.

We reviewed the results of the consultations with Bristol City Council's Youth and Play Officer, John Knowlson, and discovered that tunnels, although popular in our design consultation, are not a good idea as they attract anti-social behaviour. Similarly noise/music making equipment had to be taken out in another part of the city because teenagers were keeping local people awake. John was able to make suggestions to provide a similar play experience to tunnels by making use of panels so children can be supervised and not out of sight but giving the children a feeling of an enclosed space in which to use their imagination.

Download a full report on the design workshop >>

Quotation Design Brief & Quotes

The information gathered from the consultations has been used to create a design brief which we sent to play equipment companies approved by Bristol City Council to ask for quotes.

We received quotes & detailed designs from three different suppliers in early September.

Grant Applications

For the grant applications we decided to split the project into two phases. Phase 1 is the fenced play area for under 5s and the access path. Phase 2 is the activity trail for 5 to 11 year olds.

As part of the application process we had to gather together a lot of information, including letters of support which we received from Bristol Parks, local police and our MP, Kerry McCarthy.

Copies of these letters were sent with the applications, together with the quotes we received; details of the consultations and evidence that we have permission to proceed from Bristol City Council and that they will maintain the completed play area.

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