A long-awaited development of a recreation ground looks set to become a reality thanks to a six-figure fundraising drive.

More than £120,000 is now available to make improvements at Lower Swaines in Epping after a £50,000 donation.

With the support of Epping Town Council, the trustees of Epping Playground Association created a design and vision for the recreation ground based on the needs and wishes of children, parents and educators.

With different zones, children from toddlers through to teens have been considered in all aspects of design, with special consideration given to children with special educational needs and to teenage girls.

As part of the Greenspace Improvement contributions from its St Johns Redevelopment, developer Qualis Group will provide an early financial commitment to enable Epping Playground Association to exceed its fundraising total of £120,000 and allow members to deliver this much needed community facility as soon as possible.

Sacha Jevans, group managing director of Qualis Group, said: "Epping Playground Association has worked tirelessly to raise a staggering £84,000 towards the playground redevelopment and supported by our shareholder Epping Forest District Council, we are able to make this money available now to allow the exciting project to go ahead in advance of any works starting on the St Johns site.

"We hope that some additional funding we have allocated will allow the playground and recreation ground to be bigger and better than originally proposed.

"We are fully committed to improving Epping not just with our developments but for the wider community and have agreed significant funding through the legal agreement for this purpose. Working with our stakeholders we hope these will make Epping a better place for everyone."

Siobhan Garrett, trustee at Epping Playground Association, added: "The Lower Swaines recreation ground has been underused for many years due to the age of the equipment. As a group of parents, we came together to raise money to be able to create a space which can be used for children of all ages.

"We are thrilled to have reached our total and would like to thank all those who have supported us through our fundraising campaign and especially to Qualis Group for enabling us to reach our target."