Hillend Playground in Fife had become seriously run-down after many years of use, and some of its equipment was no longer safe or even useable for local children – a situation which inspired a group of local mums to come together in 2018 to form a community hub, and lobby for improved play opportunities. The group worked constructively with Fife Council to finalise plans for a brand new, modern, inclusive, and dynamic play space, canvassing local children for their views on what kind of equipment they’d like to see, and raising a huge amount of the vital funds needed to resource the project.
We were thrilled to be awarded the contract after a competitive tender process and excited for our new, unified operation north of the border to continue to showcase Sutcliffe Play’s reliability as experts in play!
Listening to the Community
Working constructively with Fife Council and adhering to the views of local children during the community consultation phase, we transformed the Hillend site from a tired, unwelcoming area into a colourful, modern and inviting play space that local children already love visiting.
The completed playground sits perfectly in the picturesque rural surroundings of Fife and is packed with a wide selection of some of our most popular and inclusive equipment, meaning local children of all abilities now have the chance to enjoy a fantastic play opportunity on their doorstep!
Fun for All
Every effort has been made to deliver a varied, inclusive play experience for all visitors at Hillend, and so the finished site offers a wide selection of our best equipment offering a huge number of play features. The centrepieces include our best-selling Toddlerzone Daffodil Multi-Play Unit, which reflects the natural surroundings and offers 11 play features including an inclined climbing ramp, leaf-shaped steps and a stainless steel-backed slide. Elsewhere, a wooden Maple Orchard unit offers fun for up to 15 users, including a challenging climbing wall, two leaf bridges and a suspended hammock, and is primarily sustainably sourced from locally farmed pine logs, adhering to our commitment to provide great play opportunities in a manner which safeguards our natural world.
A Mission Glide unit brings a different dimension of play, as an exciting zip-line with a pendulum seat which can accommodate up to 2 adventurous children, and grass mat surfacing providing a safe landing surface below. An Inclusive Wheelchair Roundabout offers children of all abilities the chance to enjoy some spinning fun on a product that is highly durable, and with its inground design, is able to accept a centrally positioned wheelchair. Meanwhile, a Steam Express Train-themed unit offers many opportunities for imaginative role play fun with authentic locomotive features and two extra carriages, whilst a colourful Bike Springie furthers this transport theme and adds bouncing play opportunities (also available in an in-ground trampoline).
Swing seats are the staples of any playground (and a Sutcliffe Play speciality!), so they’re very well represented here with two classic flat seats, two cradle seats which hug children of toddler age, and an inclusive nest seat which allows children of all abilities to enjoy the exhilaration of a swing experience. We also retained existing seating for parents to relax, by keeping the original bench, and adding to it with a new picnic bench and a recycled plastic bench for extra visitor accommodation.
Clair Levitt, Parks Development Officer at Fife Council, said: ‘‘Everyone in the Hillend community is delighted to have a brand-new inclusive play space right on our doorstep. Working with Sutcliffe Play on this project couldn’t have been easier, and we’re so pleased that local children of all abilities and needs now have a fantastic new play space to call their own.’
Stephanie Hubach, from the Hillend Community Hub, said: ‘Since the park opened, we’ve had so many compliments and lovely comments from users. It has made a huge difference to the village and the children now want to go to the park at every possible opportunity to meet their friends and play! It’s lovely seeing the park being used so much more, and even people from outside the village are coming to enjoy it since it has plenty to keep the wee ones happy, even on a rainy day! It’s been a long process for us, but we’re absolutely delighted at how it’s turned out.’
We’re proud that our inaugural project under our new united operation has proven a huge success, and transformed what was an out-of-date, uninspired playground with few opportunities for exciting local play into a colourful, exciting and engaging play space which offers something for all ages and abilities – the first of many to come in Scotland!