New park in Peacehaven receives a big welcome

The new cafe at Peacehaven Big Park
The new cafe at Peacehaven Big Park
  • Skate park cost £170,000 New park in Peacehaven cost £2.1m It has been welcomed by children, the elderly, cyclists, skaters and dog walkers.

The official opening of the Big Park in Peacehaven drew impressive crowds of more than 5,000 people on Saturday March 7.

Organisers said the skate park, cafe and playground all proved very popular, while the warmest day of the year so far helped draw in the crowds to the £2.1m park.

Visitors to the grand opening had the chance to try out an array of fun activities, including face painting, archeology displays and organised bike rides.

Peacehaven MP Simon Kirby said: “I was delighted to cut the ribbon on the Big Parks Project in Peacehaven.

“Peacehaven is a really special place and the Big Parks Project helps to make it an even better place to live. So many people have worked really very hard to bring the project to fruition.

“The project includes improved sports facilities, a central activity hub with cafe, and open space and recreation areas suitable for all sections of the community and I know this will be well received by residents. Well done to everyone involved.”

Peacehaven MP Simon Kirby with cllr Andy Smith

Peacehaven MP Simon Kirby with cllr Andy Smith

Organisers said everyone loved the park, from children to the elderly, from cyclists to skaters and dog walkers.

Visitors said it was a park that the whole community could enjoy.

The totem gateways by Sussex artist Keith Pettit received a fantastic response.

The day also marked the launch of Healthy Peacehaven, a local initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents.

The community chef produced some delicious samples of healthy food, apples were pressed, and practitioners and health charities gave advice on local services.

Lucy Dance from Sustrans and Andy Lock from Cycle Seahaven organised cycle rides on the day and in the months leading up to the event to establish the park as cycling hub.

The adventure playground was not quite ready in time for the opening but will be complete in a few weeks.

There was a skate jam on the £170,000 skate park, a children’s puppet show and craft activities.

Interactive archeology at the event included a mini dig, fire pit, flint napping and weaving and dressing up in historical costumes.

A kids’ football academy was run by Peacehaven and Telescombe Town Football Club.

Funding for the replica Iron Age village, which was due to be built at park, was not forthcoming but Archeology South East will carry out a new community project on the site.

Chair of the Big Park Projects Board cllr Andy Smith, added: “It’s a terrific community asset and hopefully a destination for people from outside Peacehaven to visit.”

And Peacehaven Town Council’s civic officer and marketing officer Debbie Donovan said: “I was flabbergasted when I visited the park on Saturday, there was a tremendous sense of community spirit, and everyone was enjoying the many activities the park has to offer. Peacehaven is lucky to have such a fantastic park for people of all ages to visit.”