Published on 5th April 2024

Image of two women and a dog stood at the entrance of a park

A new lighting scheme to help people feel safer at night has been installed in Sandford Park, thanks to fundraising efforts by the Friends of Sandford Park.

  • Scheme runs between College Road and Barrett’s Mill, and includes the Annecy Gardens
  • Funding secured from the council’s neighbourhood community infrastructure levy (CIL) and Safer Streets fund managed by the OPCC

The popular pedestrian and cycle path through the park is one of the major routes to and from the town centre. The scheme brings seven new energy efficient LED lighting columns to the park, including five on the cycle path between College Road and Barrett’s Mill Lane, one in the friendship circle, and one in Annecy Gardens.

The lighting has been installed by Gloucestershire County Council and paid for with £13,000 funding from Cheltenham Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and £13,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Street fund managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire.

Anne Evans from the Friends of Sandford Park, said: “Safer Sandford’ demonstrates our commitment to protecting the elderly, female and vulnerable members of our community when using the footpaths after dark. We thank Cheltenham’s CIL fund for the grant and the OPCC for match funding. We are most grateful to the borough council for its support for a safer Sandford.”

Tracey Birkinshaw, director of community & economic development for Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “This path is very popular with pedestrians and cyclists to easily go to and from the town, often alone in the evenings. The council welcomed the bid made by the Friends of Sandford Park and sought CIL and Safer Streets funding for these improvements and we’re delighted to be able to bring new lighting to the park.”

Assistant Chief Executive Kirsten Fruin, who is also Head of Commissioning for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Gloucestershire, said: “Being able to support schemes like this, which improve the environment and will help keep people safe, makes all the hard work that goes into securing money from the Safer Street fund, worthwhile”. 

Plans for the lighting were developed by the Friends of Sandford Park following a petition to Cheltenham Borough Council in 2022, with 1,540 signatures at the time the petition went to council, requesting that all pathways in Sandford Park were lit. The petition noted a rise in criminal activity between 8pm and 9pm and that users were increasingly afraid to use the park after dark. Lighting the pathways was key to address these types of accidents.

For more information about cycling in Cheltenham, visit the council’s web pages.

Find out more about Cheltenham’s parks and green spaces: parks.

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