New flagship play area at Prospect Park to open ahead of schedule
- £530,000 investment to provide exciting new equipment
- New play area opening on Thursday 23 March ready for the Easter holidays
READING’S new half-a-million-pound playground in Prospect Park will open early, in time for Easter holiday fun.
The new play area, originally announced for summer 2023, is being delivered ahead of schedule and will now be open for play from Thursday 23 March. The playground provides a range of facilities to cater for children of all ages and abilities by offering a variety of challenge levels. It has been carefully designed to allow children to be challenged physically as well as letting their creativity flourish.
View a video of the new park here:
And more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAfrwA
The location and surfaces of the new play area have been chosen to ensure the best accessibility for families using pushchairs or mobility aids.
The extensive play area boasts:
- Themed zones, including quiet play areas and activity panels.
- Roundabouts, swings and a zipwire.
- Two large climbing towers with a tunnel slide and access ramp are incorporated into the unit.
- Ground-level roundabout, braille panels, lower-level inclusive play net, accessible see-saw, tactile panels, ground-level games, and a large accessible springer.
It has been designed by play experts HAGS UK to allow much-improved access to and around the playground and will be as inclusive as possible – aiming to challenge, excite and inspire as well as encourage children of all abilities to play together.
The new playground forms part of the Council’s overall £1 million investment in new playgrounds and playground equipment across Reading.
Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Leisure and Culture, said: “I am delighted that we have delivered this fantastic new play area months ahead of schedule. It is inclusive of children of all ages and abilities, and the earlier opening date will be a boon to families looking for free family days out during the Easter holidays and beyond.
“Between the new play area and The Ranger Station opposite, this council has invested over £1m in play at Prospect Park: it is one of the town’s destination parks so it was vital to us that the facilities are accessible to all children.”
Tom Charman, project manager, HAGS, said: “We are extremely pleased to open the play area at Prospect Park. It has been fantastic to work in partnership with Reading Council to deliver this unique play space, and we hope all of the Reading community will enjoy the new facilities.”
As part of the work, there will be a new pedestrian access path from the car park to the play area, with a new pedestrian crossing also being created. Once the new play area is open the next phase will be to remove the existing play area and reinstate the area back to informal grass parkland.
This project is just one aspect of the enhancement and investment being made within Prospect Park, including a £500k multi-use activity centre in part of the pavilion building, which sits directly opposite the new play area. The mini-golf, Sky Tykes low ropes activity and climbing wall are all open, with the other facilities – including a café - opening this year.
Cllr Barnett-Ward added: “Families are already enjoying our mini-golf, low ropes course and climbing tree at our family-friendly adventure hub, The Ranger Station just across the way from the new play area.”
Find out more about the Ranger Station activities here: www.reading.gov.uk/leisure/active-reading
Notes to editors
Photo/interview opportunity: The media are invited to the opening celebration at Prospect Park at 11.30am on Thursday 23 March 2023.