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Oh happy day . . . Celebrating a 250,000 boost for CPlay are (top, from left) CPlay committee members Owen Jackson, Alice Brice, Leanne Prendeville (red top), (front, from left) Roselyn Fauth and Lynette Wilson; and Janine Quigley, Liz Shea and Pauline-Jean Luyten from the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury. PHOTO: GEOFF CLOAKE

by Claire Allison

Christmas has come early for the CPlay committee in the form of a $250,000 grant, which was confirmed this week.

The Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury’s grant means the CPlay committee has just $500,000 to go before hitting the $2.2million target for the destination playground at Caroline Bay.

CPlay chairman Owen Jackson said it was fantastic to get the total amount applied for from the trust.

“We are genuinely so humbled and appreciative of the support that they have given us,” he said.

The committee had previously applied for funding from the trust, but was asked to make some improvements to governance and financial structures and resubmit the application.

“We couldn’t be happier. This will be an absolute asset for the community.

“We will still need generous support from the community. The job isn’t over money to be raised and we need the community to support it.

“But this is definitely an early Christmas present for us, and sets us up really well for next year.

“We want to keep this on target and on track to make sure that next summer we will have an amazing playground down there.”

The committee still has applications for $150,000 in to both Pub Charity and the Lion Foundation.

Community trust chief executive officer Liz Shea said the grant to CPlay was the biggest given in this latest funding round, and the trust was happy to support it.

“It’s good for the community, and we know from other communities with playgrounds like this, they attract a lot of people.”

The push to make the playground as inclusive as possible was remarked on, as was the history element of the facility in providing a learning environment.

The trust hoped by throwing its support behind the project, it might help encourage other funding bodies to come on board.