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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Arson-hit Ulverston castle set to rise from ashes by end of March

THE hard work has paid off for a group of fundraisers who have announced work will begin next month to rebuild part of an Ulverston play area that was set alight by vandals.

An arson attack in July saw the popular castle structure destroyed at Croftlands play area, prompting residents to set about raising the money to replace it.

The Croftlands Castle Community Project has raised more than £6,000 towards the re-build, which will be matched by South Lakeland District Council.

Croftlands mum Naomi Bartlett helped set up the group and said she was amazed by the support the campaign had received.

She said: “There has been a lot of community support behind it, which is fabulous.”

The group gave local residents the chance to vote for their favourite castle design out of three that were drawn up.

Mrs Bartlett said it was important to give the people who would benefit from the new play structure a say in what gets built.

The winning design will be built by Haverthwaite-based Playdale, whose workers will start work during the week commencing March 18.

Tracy Southward, Playdale’s area sales manager for Cumbria and Lancashire, said she expected the project to take around two weeks to complete.

She added: “We are a local company and we have people working for us who live in Ulverston so we wanted to help.”

Mrs Bartlett said she was grateful to everybody who had helped the group get to this point.

She added: “The support has been overwhelming.

“The castle will back up and in place in under a year, which is great.

“It has been a massive community effort from people young and old.

“We are in awe of the effort everybody has made – there were even kids donating money from the tooth fairy.”

With the goal of seeing the castle rebuilt almost complete, the work of the community group is set to continue. Some of the people involved in the Castle Community Project are now looking at how to keep the positive community spirit going.

They have formed the Croftlands Together Group, aiming to harness the good work of the castle group to unite a number of existing community groups to make people aware of the good work that is already being done.

Mrs Bartlett said: “We were finding lots of groups are dealing with issues separately.

“It makes people feel like they are getting more support.”

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