Girl in play area

Residents invited to help choose a playground design for Kenavon Drive

  • £100K investment in Kennet Walk /Kingsmead play area
  • Residents invited to vote on their favourite playground designs
  • Feedback invited on new riverside landscape design for the area

READING Council is inviting local residents to help choose a design for improving the play area at Kenavon Drive and the surrounding riverside area in central Reading.

The new Kingsmead development and its neighbouring Kennet Walk housing site to the east of the town centre will soon see a new playground and enhanced landscaping coming to the area.  The play area will see £100,000 invested -  with the funds for this new play area from the developer of the new Kingsmead flats and houses, as a condition attached to the original planning consent. 

The new play area will include a mix of play equipment including equipment accessible to all abilities. The improvement and enlargement of this playground mean it will benefit from new multi-units for children of all ages, a combination swing unit, play panels and a seesaw. There will also be new surfacing and floor graphics.

Along with the new play area, there will also be landscaping improvements around the site.  Further funding will see the nearby riverside enhanced with new landscaping, bulb and meadow planting, tree works and additional tree planting.

The Council has invited several leading specialist companies to put forward their designs for the refurbishment. The three shortlisted designs will be consulted on between Monday 22 November and Thursday 16 December 2021.

To view the designs and have your say visit:

The results from the consultation will form a significant part of the selection process of the winning design. The selection process includes consultation with our Accessible Play Task and Finish Group, our parks team’s technical and value for money assessments.

The winning design will be announced in December 2021.

Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “Redeveloping the Kenavon Drive play area signifies the completion of the planning requirements for the  Kingsmead development site, and I’m delighted to see this critical community element to the area come to fruition. This is an exciting portion of the overall vision for the site and it will deliver an area that can be enjoyed by local neighbourhood children for years to come.

"I’m also pleased about the level of landscaping that will take place in and around the play area. Along with additional funding along the surrounding riverside area, enhanced tree and meadow planting will improve the visual appeal and biodiversity of the setting.

“The provision of high-quality equipment that is as accessible as possible for all children and their carers remains a key priority for us. I am therefore delighted that our Accessible Play Task and Finish Group will be contributing their thoughts regarding these proposals to ensure that even Reading’s neighbourhood playgrounds are providing accessible opportunities for all.

“The public’s input and votes for their favourite designs is a really critical element of the selection process for the playground site. I’m very pleased that so many chose to get involved in playground consultations as they happen around the borough. I want to encourage local residents to check out our the shortlisted designs online at where they can vote for the playground they want, as well as comment on the shortlisted designs. I’d also encourage people to look at and feedback on the riverside landscape design proposals for this area which can be found on the same link.” 

The playground improvements will be funded from the contributions of the Kingsmead developers and the riverside improvements from allocated CIL ( Community Infrastructure Levy) monies.