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Stonewood Unveils School’s New Play Equipment

Eager primary school pupils will finally get to enjoy new outdoor play equipment thanks to the generosity of housebuilder Stonewood Partnerships.

The developer, which is building 43 homes at The Tannery in the village, donated £5,000 to Holt VC Primary School after hearing how its parent support group had lost out on vital fundraising during the pandemic.

The money has paid for an impressive new wooden climbing frame complete with ropes and bars to help work off excess energy at break times. Headteacher Jo Hodge said the school had planned to buy it in 2020 but COVID had hampered fundraising.

“Small schools can’t stretch to these sort of things and our parent group the Holt School Association, which has been amazing at supporting us, have been unable to do a lot of fundraising during the pandemic,” she said. “It is wonderful that Stonewood have made this generous donation, we’re very lucky to have this and I know the children will be too.”

Some of the school’s 160 pupils were involved in helping to choose the equipment which Mrs Hodge said is essential in keeping the children healthy and active.

“We wanted the new equipment to offer the children all-weather play and also a bit more of a physical challenge in terms of balance because we want them to be active – and the great thing is multiple children can play on it together,” she said. “The children have been excitedly watching the equipment being installed and can’t wait to try it out.”

Stonewood Partnerships Operations Director Gavin Calthrop said: “One of the things we try to do when we build in a community is become part of it and this is a way of doing that.

“We’ve built close relationships with the village and when he heard the school had been unable to fundraise for this equipment we were pleased to step in. We believe The Tannery will leave a great legacy for the village and this will be something generations of children will be able to enjoy.”

Stonewood is making steady progress at The Tannery, which also includes 100 work units within J&T Beaven’s 250-year-old warehouses and workshops and public spaces, with almost all of the one, two, three and four bedroomed homes now sold or reserved.

The new neighbourhood earned Stonewood Partnerships a Residential Development of the Year title at the Bath Property Awards.

Mrs Hodge said the new development is good for Holt. “The Tannery development in Holt is great news because village schools like us are always looking to keep pupil numbers up – so it will support that in the future,” she said. “It is good news for the school and it will help the community to thrive.”

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