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Maple Park, Ipswich

Client: Ipswich Borough Council

Cost: £350,000

Date: July 2019

Genre: Community, Inclusive

New playground brings the community together

Ipswich Borough Council invested the £350,000 to revitalise a rundown, tired playground to make it a hub for the community as part of a vision to transform the area into a destination recreation area offering something for everyone.

Set in one of Ipswich’s most deprived and densely populated areas, the council wanted to strip out the old play equipment and install a bright and colourful playground, sports area and outdoor gym to create a safe place for children to play and families to meet up.

The council worked with families in the community to influence the design and equipment included and artwork from local schoolchildren has been included as posters around the playground.

Sutcliffe Play created four clearly defined, fully accessible DDA compliant areas within the park to provide maximum play value for a wide range of abilities and ages from toddlers to teens.

Main play area

Interactive games and friendly characters have been built into the design of the flooring which creates a bright and colourful playscape – snakes and ladders, elephant footprints, a 3D shark, star fish and turtle encourages creative, social and imaginative play across the playground.

The area also includes a variety of swings, roundabouts, springies and several multi-play units such as:

  • Climb & Slide – the unit features varying degrees of challenge to keep children active and engaged with a ladder, ring climb and a climb up ramp, wide slide and access decks making it accessible to all ages and abilities.
  • The 2 Up 2 Down unit also features accessible elements with wide access nets, drag ramp and half tube slide giving access points to its tower.
  • The Spider Agility Frame provides children with physical challenges to develop upper body co-ordination.


Toddler cycle area

This area features bright floor markings around the perimeter to encourage children to ride a bike safely whilst following the highway code. Markings include a zebra crossing, traffic lights, parking signs and a petrol station sign encouraging imaginative play.

Sports area

Sutcliffe Play has installed its unique ball court system to provide local youngsters a safe place to play ball sports. The court is set up to provide opportunities to play football, basketball, tennis and badminton. Its unique sound insulation system reduces the noise impact for nearby residents.

As outdoor fitness continues to grow in popularity, Sutcliffe Play has installed a large range of outdoor gym equipment that provide fitness opportunities for youngsters and adults alike and encourage more people to get active and spend time outdoors.

The hard-wearing, easy to use kit includes the Air Walker that is designed to strengthen leg and abdomen muscles, the Cross Trainer which strengthens the leg, arm and torso muscles and the Rower which builds the upper and lower limb muscles, the chest and abdomen.

All of the kit installed provides a full-body work out whilst having a positive effect on the circulatory-respiratory system.

“The new playground is a vital part of the community. This has been a labour of love, and I think it’s become the new heart of the community. The kids have done the drawings and they have helped with the equipment, giving the community a real sense of ownership.

“Through determination and the hard work of all involved Sutcliffe Play were able to finish the playground more than one week early so it was available for the start of the summer holidays.”

Lisa Stannard, Operations Manager for Parks and Cemeteries

Playground Equipment:

Equipment List:

Main play area

2.4m high swing with 2x Pod Seats

2.4m high swing with 2 x bumper seats and 1 x rubber nest seat

2.4m high swing with 4 x bumper seats

Climb & Slide

Dice Panel

Back to Back Roundabout

Toddler Play Fence

Springie Parrot x 2

2 Up 2 Down

Boat Swing

Stepping Pods x 5

Low Rotator

Spider Agility Frame in purple

Large Dish

Floor markings:

  • Thermoplastic Snakes & Ladders
  • Mini Tunnel Ant Hill
  • Salamander
  • Hopscotch Crocodile
  • Elephant Footprints x 9
  • Drops sets of four pieces x 2
  • Splash x 2
  • Palm Tree x 2
  • 3D wetpour stones with numbers 1-10
  • 3D Miss Hippo
  • 3D wetpour shark
  • 3D wetpour star fish
  • 3D wetpour turtle

Toddler cycle area

Wetpour cycle track

Minitown Motorbike

Minitown Town Panel

Minitown Roadster

Minitown Garage panel

Sports area

Multi Use Games Area

Gym area

Hand over Hand

Chin Up Bar

Parallel Bars

Sit Up Bench and Back Stretcher

Pull down Challenger & Leg Press

Rower & Air Skier

Air Walker & Body Twister

Elliptical cross trainer & Body twist

Leg lift station and rails

Social Seating

Steel heavy duty seat with backs

Steel heavy duty benches

2 x Adult social meeting shelters

2 x DDA picnic tables

2 x Cycle racks


Steel robust litter bins


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