CASH left over from the development of the former Battle Hospital site is set to be spent as part of a drive to revamp parks across the borough.

Councillors arrpoved spending nearly £500,000 sprucing up nine parks at Reading Borough Council’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee on Tuesday.. The proposals include spending £300,000 of unused developer contribution cash from the West Village development on improvements to Beresford Road and Kensington Road recreation grounds, in west Reading, and a further £188,000 revamping seven other parks across the town.

The money had been earmarked for a new health centre before those plans fell through in 2012 and council leader Jo Lovelock said: “I am especially pleased that the people of west Reading are now going to enjoy a direct benefit from some of the large financial contribution that came from developing the Battle Hospital site.

“We were very disappointed when the Primary Care Trust decided not to use this money to provide a health centre, so we were determined to find ways of using it in ways that would give other practical benefits to people living in the area.”

Under the proposals the Multi-use Games Area (MUGA) at Beresford Road will be resurfaced and given new goals and basketball posts, plus a new artificial cricket wicket will be installed, while the toddler play area at Kensington Road will be extended and kitted out with new equipment. Work on these two projects is set to begin in the autumn.

Work on the other seven parks will be funded from Section 106 contributions from nearby developments and will be completed by April next year.