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.
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