It is easy to forget that the new Level park and playground is less than a year old.
It is easy to forget that the new Level park and playground is less than a year old - especially now that it has become a weekend favourite for many families across the city centre.
The recent Grand Community Celebration Event was a great reminder of how popular it has become. It was a brilliant day, with live bands, sports and games, children’s activities, and heritage walks.
After a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012, we were able to implement our ambitious plan to restore what was previously a "dead zone" to a thriving well-used green space.
The package of improvements included dancing fountains, a new children's playground, a sensory garden, tables for board games, a pétanque terrain, a new skate park, and a new cycling-themed café serving local food, with bike facilities and new public toilets.
We also restored historic features of The Level from the early 1920s, including the park pavilions.
There is something for everyone, of all backgrounds and all ages. But it is particularly important for those living, working and visiting the city centre, where there is a shortage of usable green space.
For example, young children at Toybox - a pre-school run by Brighton Women’s Centre, near St Peter’s Church - have really benefited, since they have been able to use the facilities there.
Jan Chisnall, the manager, recently said: “Since we’ve been taking children out to play on the new Level, we’ve seen a marked improvement in their development. This new park has made a world of difference to our children’s growth and has really added to what we offer as a city-centre pre-school.”
The celebration day was only possible through the hard work of the Level Communities Forum, a group of local people committed to working with the council and others for the park's long-term benefit. Together, we were able to put on an inclusive celebration of the park for the community, organised with the community.
There is a shortage of usable green space in the city centre