A Brent man has expressed “surprise and astonishment” after £45,000 was awarded to a children’s sandpit regeneration project.

Anthony Gardner, who lives near the Queen's Park playground, said he first heard about the project after it was lauded in a Brent Labour Party leaflet. 

He added that he was surprised to discover how much the project would cost.

Brent Council said the work to “revitalise” the sandpit play area had been brought forward by The City of London charity, which manages Queen’s Park, and that it would cost around £107,000 in total.

The authority will contribute £45,000 to the refurbishment, which will include new play equipment, through a Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) grant.

The levy is a charge collected from developers and is used to fund infrastructure projects.

The decision to award the money was made by residents, who voted in the council’s ‘You Decide’ day last year, when communities chose which projects in their area they would like to fund.

It is expected that the remaining £62,000 will be provided by The City charity through other funding and donations.

A Brent Council spokesperson said: “Queen’s Park is much-loved by our community and beyond, with almost 200,000 people visiting the playground every year.

“This project, brought forward by The City of London charity, will revitalise the popular sandpit play area, bringing old and worn features back to life and introducing new, stimulating equipment.

“It will create a safe and accessible environment for local children to enjoy whilst supporting their learning and development.

“The City of London charity, who manage Queen’s Park, were awarded a £45,000 Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) grant towards this project in June 2022.

“The award was granted through our ‘You Decide’ initiative, where residents voted for the projects they wanted to receive funding in their local ‘Brent Connect’ area.

“Projects are chosen based on their merit and funding is distributed to a wide range of community groups and organisations.”

The council said that it expected the project to be completed later this year.