THE future is looking bright for the village of Horsley thanks to a grant from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust.

The Horsley Play Project has received funding of £26,000 towards building a renovated creative play space and social hub in the rural parish.

This money will pave the way for a reinvention and extension of the existing playground on Priory Fields, which lie just behind Horsley Primary School.

Initial installation of play equipment is expected to start next week.

More emphasis will be put on stimulating outdoor learning, creating inventive and inclusive play for all ages, whilst also creating a safe and sociable place to gather for the wider village community.

New equipment will include a zip wire, snake swing, sand pit and climbing wall.

Allan Caudwell, chair of Horsley Parish Council said: “It’s fantastic to see the start of this project. Children of all ages will love it.

“It will enhance the other great facilities in Horsley village centre such as the shop, school, playing field, and village hall.”

Most of the current play equipment has been used and enjoyed so much that it is in need of repair and some pieces need replacing.

The project is being led by Horsley Play Project steering group, a small group of local volunteers working on behalf of Horsley Parish Council.

Funds are coming from Gloucestershire Environmental Trust and The Veolia Environmental Trust, which last year awarded an initial grant of £29,800.

They are being supported by Horsley Parish Council and Austin Design Works.

The steering group initiated the project in 2010 and conducted consultation exercises to gauge support for the reinvention of the play area and to see what form it should take.

Initial consultation took place in November 2010 in the form of a brainstorming exercise with children and young adults from the playgroup, primary school and youth club.

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, said: “It is great to hear that the installation of the play equipment is going to start next week.

“I look forward to hearing about the project’s progress over the coming months.”