Charlton Park and Maryon Park to get improvements from Greenwich Council

Charlton Park
Charlton Park is to see some council investment

Both Charlton Park and Maryon Park are to benefit from a Greenwich Council fund aimed at rejuvenating the borough’s parks.

Charlton Park will have its playground improved while sports changing rooms will also be refurbished as part of the programme, the first tranche of spending from a £1m fund set aside by the town hall.

Councillors on the cabinet, the borough’s main decision-making body, will discuss the plans in a meeting on Wednesday. However, there is no breakdown of just how much is being spent in the programme, which involves 11 parks.

Charlton Park will see money put towards the modernisation and redecoration of sports changing rooms, playground improvements, new park furniture and basic repairs. There is also funding for a wildlife meadow to the east of the park.

Maryon Park is due to see basic repairs, new park furniture as well as improvements to its ball court and its playground. It will also get new trees and wildflower margins.

There is no new funding for Maryon Wilson Park and Hornfair Park. (See full list.)

More than 2,600 people responded to a council survey about how they wanted to see the money spent. The most common request for Charlton Park was for additional toilets and maintenance as well as picnic area improvements, more bins and floodlights in the skatepark. Users of Maryon Wilson Park, which is not getting funding, called for a café and toilets, as well as work on its pathways and steps. (See full list.)

The report to councillors says: “Cafés and kiosks were also identified as important but creation of new café and kiosks would use a large proportion of the £1m budget and it was considered more important to improve the condition of the current facilities before adding new [ones].”


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Hornfair Park BMX track ‘needs investment’, operator admits as work planned

The BMX track opened in 2012 but has fallen into disrepair

Hornfair Park’s BMX track “needs investment” after falling into disrepair just eight years after it opened, its operator GLL admitted to Greenwich councillors last week.

The facility opened in 2012 as an Olympic legacy project, with some local residents initially objecting to the track because of fears it would attract antisocial behaviour.

While it proved to be a popular facility, it was overshadowed five years later by the opening of the skate park in Charlton Park, and has looked increasingly tatty since then.

At a Greenwich Council scrutiny panel last Thursday, Kidbrooke with Hornfair councillor David Stanley told representatives of Greenwich Leisure Limited, which operates the track, that groups were having to move events to Kent because the track was in such a poor state.

“We’ve a lovely BMX track which is now falling into such disrepair we’re unable to use it and we’re having to move events to Kent,” he said.

Gary Starkey, the partnership manager for GLL’s leisure centres, said contractors were about to visit the track to see what work needed doing.

“We absolutely recognise that the track needs some investment and work to be done – as soon as practical, we’ll get that work done,” he told the regeneration scrutiny committee.

Starkey added that GLL was looking into relaunching the track with a promotional event when the work is done. (See 23 and 27 minutes into the video below.)

Charlton councillor Linda Perks questioned how well Charlton Library – which is also operated by GLL – was being promoted (see nine minutes into the video below). “It’s just a small library ticked away in a corner of Charlton House – I just wondered if you could increase marketing of that facility in that area. There’s not much information inside the building or outside that it’s there.”

Paul Drumm, the libraries partnership manager, said the libraries team went to local events and fairs to promote the service, while Tim Hetherington, GLL’s head of leisure and libraries, said the staff worked closely with the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – which runs Charlton House – and its events, adding: “Our staff have dressed up as World War I nurses.”


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Open weekend at ‘refreshed’ Charlton Lido

Charlton Lido are holding an open weekend on Saturday 23rd  and Sunday 24th of July, with special offers on membership, and a chance for non-members to try out the facilities – including the recently ‘relaunched’ cafe. They’re also looking for local businesses who may wish to take a stall over the weekend.

As an aside, we’d suggest that if Better are now describing the lido as ‘Charlton’s best kept secret’ it might be time for them to do a bit of proper advertising and promotion…


PS. Tried the cafe since it reopened? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments below.