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Payers Park, Folkestone

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As part of a huge, £1.35m redevelopment project of an abandoned site in the centre of Folkestone, ecodek®  was specified by Ground Control, on behalf of Shepway District Council, The Creative Foundation and MUF Architecture/art, to provide the decking for the graded boardwalk and walkways in Payers Park. ecodek® was even used in the construction of the complementary seating.

The town-centre Payers Park site had been left unused for decades, but was previously home to workshops, slaughterhouses, a power station, and even a public orchard. During its years of disuse, the park had become difficult to access, and was thought of negatively by town residents.

The move to redevelop the site came as part of the wider regeneration efforts by The Creative Foundation, regenerating the town through creative activities. The design process for the project included extensive consultations with the community and a series of public events, to make sure the heritage and history of the site was reflected in its future use.

The 36 week redevelopment project was arranged to coincide with the 2014 Folkestone Triennial Festival, and designed to give artists and the community spaces to express themselves and enjoy their hobbies in the heart of the town.

The aim of the redevelopment was to create an oasis of green space between Folkestone’s Creative Quarter, Grace Hill and Rendezvous Street, with spaces that would lend themselves to multiple uses, simultaneously. Payers Park now serves as a safe shortcut through the town, providing places to play, to exercise, for artistic creativity, and to relax.

Elusive artist, Banksy, even visited the site shortly after completion, painting his first work since 2010 on one of the walls of the site.

Art Buff - Banksy

“Art Buff” by Banksy. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

As the most widely used part of the park, the boardwalk needed to be hard-wearing and slip resistant. All the walkways needed to offer the community longevity and be in keeping with the new landscape, providing safe, accessible, and attractive pathways through and around the space.

The ecodek® composite decking walkways will require minimal maintenance from the Shepway District Council maintenance team, and will retain their looks and structural integrity as this town-centre oasis evolves around it.

We’ll leave the final words on this project to the Leader of the local council, who said…

“The renaissance of this previously uncared for space is breathtaking.”

Councillor David Monk, Shepway District Council,

If you’d like to visit Payers Park you can find the location shown below.

Unfortunately, the Banksy ended up getting vandalised, and was then removed and put up for auction, and is (currently) no longer available to view. However, the latest news suggests that it may be coming back to the town!

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