Play time in Central Park!

Examples of the equipment that will be seen in the new Central Park play area

The Central Park Improvements Project is set to ramp up next week as refurbishment and extension of the play area begins.

Designed with LDA Design and Russell Play from ideas gained at a community consultation, the area will be bigger and better and promises to make the park a playful destination for local families and visitors alike.

In order to complement the natural setting of the park, the theme of the new play area is ‘Birds, Bees and Butterflies.’ It will use materials like timber and include soft landscaping and planting to encourage children to enjoy nature.

Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Strategic Transport, Housing and Planning, said: “When you think of parks, you think of play, so I’m delighted to see this part of the Central Park Improvement Project take place.

“The existing play area has been there for 15 years now and is due a refresh and upgrade. It is important to get this right because the children who will play here will hopefully make many happy memories that will inspire them to continue to use the park and its many facilities in later life.”

The new play area will have three key areas.

The first two areas will be fenced and will include toddler, sand and water play with features like tree houses, multi-person swings, a roundabout, water pumps and trays and a huge sandpit surrounded by decking.

The third area will be open with a more adventurous feel and will include a huge climbing/sliding structure, trampolines, hammocks, a low ropes course and double zip wire.

Some of the existing larger equipment, including the space net and existing water play feature, will remain and it will be upgraded and resurfaced.

Other good quality equipment is being removed and will be reused to improve other play areas in the city.

There will also be new surfaced paths through the play area to improve access including one from the skate park to the play area. The work on the paths will be the first to be completed.

The improvements will start on Monday 5 February and the play area will be closed until the formal opening before the school summer holidays. The nearby Pounds House Park remains open in the meantime.