Revamped play area to open any day

October 31 2013

FINGERS are being crossed that a revamped play area in Downend will open in time for the firework display at King George V Park.

king-george-v-park

FINGERS are being crossed that a revamped play area in Downend will open in time for the firework display at King George V Park.

Diggers moved onto the fenced play area off Sutherland Avenue on October 7 as part of phase one of a project to provide first class play facilities for children in the area.

As Downend Voice went to press the finishing touches were being carried out before the annual Downend Firework Show at the park on November 1.

Phase one of the project will feature a seesaw, climbing frame and slide unit, musical and non musical ‘springers’, speaking tube which allows voices to travel, toddler basket swing and ground level trampolines.

There will also be a roundabout which will be accessible to children with disabilities.

Further facilities include picnic benches, paths and landscape work.

Phase two and three will boast adventure-style play equipment aimed at older children but will require further fundraising and consultation. It will complement existing gym-style equipment at the Westerleigh Road end of the park which includes a zip wire, table tennis table and a basket swing.

The project is being funded by Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council which has set aside £25,000 for phase one with a further £10,000 donated South Gloucestershire Council through the New Homes Bonus Fund. 

Parish councillor Mary Lewis, who chairs the council’s open spaces committee, said: “Part of the emphasis of the play area is accessibility for people with disabilities. There’s a roundabout which is flat to the ground so you can push a buggy or wheelchair onto it and a musical springer which tinkles when you move it.

“We’re hoping phase one will be finished in time for the weekend of the firework display so the thousands of visitors will get to see the new equipment.

“But if there are hold ups because of the weather and safety checks it may have to open shortly afterwards.”

Cllr Lewis said she would hope phase two and phase three would be completed within a year.

“In recent years people haven’t bothered to go to the park because the equipment was so tired and boring but when all phases are completed, it will be a top class facility which will attract people into the park.” 

The parish council decided to spend the money improving local play areas following the community plan consultation in 2011 where a questionnaire was sent out to every household in Downend and Bromley Heath.

Residents felt there was a need for better play equipment, especially adventure-type installations.

The plans have been drawn up in consultation with the Friends of King George V Park.

Anyone who would like to join the friends’ group to help with work on phase 2 and 3 and on other projects in the park should contact Mary at marylewis@dbhparishcouncil.co.uk or telephone the parish clerk on 0117 956 7001.