We’re making this statement to re-clarify our role in relation to more recent questions around our involvement in Springfield Park. Alder Hey as an organisation hold the task of restoring and revitalising Springfield Park. As highlighted by their team ‘this £6.2 million project aims to create a space that promotes health and well-being, be an attractive place for visitors, and enhances the quality of life for the wider community’.
Acting as an independent party from Alder Hey, Capacity was commissioned for a very focused contract to co-create and secure the investment needed to deliver the enhanced features local communities want to make Springfield the best destination it can be. With this, Alder Hey funded Capacity to be a really small part of their £6.2 mil wider project, but we made it our mission to add value and generate an impactful return on the investment.
We, Capacity, are a public service redesign agency, so a lot of what we do is in the background of major projects such as this, helping to make them fit for purpose by working with local people and bringing their ideas to life. This involves consultation, best practice research, finding funding and working with lots of different people and groups to try and unpick the barriers to making the project a success.
By working with community partners, we were successful in securing additional funding for Springfield Park including £144,000 for a disability cycling centre based in the park and a full summer of events delivered by Hype Merseyside – taking us over and above the original investment made.
We have also supported discussions with funders and Liverpool City Council (as the landowner) to explore more possibilities of a heritage trail, a café and a community hub. This combined work has resulted in bids totalling over £1m for features that can generate a long-term sustainable income for the park.
In addition, Capacity has also brought many expert community providers into the park who have delivered events including health and wellbeing activities, children’s holiday themed events, health and wellbeing programmes, creative programmes and opportunities for family fun. These events were designed to complement the valuable activities coordinated and delivered by groups such as Friends of Springfield Park, LFC Foundation and more, with the ambition of making Springfield Park a welcoming and inclusive park.
We are pleased to see that Phase 1 of the park is open and has been returned to the community, and we are thrilled to see that our partners at the ‘Wheels for All’ cycling programme have had a warm welcome to the park.
Sadly, we can’t answer any questions on the Alder Hey health campus or the timeline/content of the return of the park, this is something we are not part of and over which we have no control.
We are also aware that concerns have been raised about the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). Again, we sadly cannot answer any comments on the MUGA as our involvement has been very limited. Capacity carried out a pre-consultation in late 2020 following a request for a second planning proposal by LCC. As part of this consultation, we spoke to the community and reaffirmed the preferred location of the MUGA to Alder Hey – this was extent of our involvement.
However, we do understand the current priority for Liverpool City Council and Alder Hey is the return of the main features of Springfield Park for the community.
Capacity has now finished its small part in the wider Springfield Park regeneration project. We wish the best of luck to Alder Hey, Liverpool City Council and Springfield Park community teams with the rest of their journey.