PLANS for a new children’s playground have received a massive lift thanks to a grant of more than £14,000.

Aston and Cote Community Trust was given a Community Facilities Grant of £14,040 by West Oxfordshire District Council, covering 25 per cent of the cost of the playground at Aston Village Hall, near Witney.

With much of the remaining fundraising in place or under consideration, it is hoped work on the £56,000 project designed for younger children will start by next March and be finished by June.

Carolyn Simmonds, Community Trust chairman, said: “The existing playground was installed about 30 years ago and the equipment is becoming dilapidated.

“It is also is in the wrong place as young children have to cross a football field to reach it, which is awkward in the winter.

“We have about 100 children aged between three and nine using the hall on a Saturday for example, and they need decent facilities.”

Trustee Paul Farrow created a questionnaire to gauge the opinion of parents in Aston and Cote, with 90 per cent in favour of improvements.

Meanwhile, youngsters at Aston & Cote C of E Primary School were asked to draw what they wanted to see.

Mr Farrow said: “New homes are being built here with more young families moving in and everyone is keen on keeping kids active. We are looking at new swings and roundabouts but also want to make the playground as accessible as possible for those with disabilities.”

Other local events have contributed to fundraising for the playground, with the village fete raising £1,500.

Several other projects have benefited from this round of Community Facilities Grants, including £50,000 towards improving the Allendale building at Carterton Family Centre.

Another £12,560 went towards installing older children’s playground equipment at in Bladon, while the council granted £7,591 to repairing the Over Norton Fountain.