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Northfield Park, Blaby

Client: Blaby Parish Council

Cost: £150,000

Date: December 2023

Genre: Community, Locomotive, Inclusive

Having a blast in Blaby!

A former paddling pool in Northfield Park, Blaby became the centre of a transformed play space after we won the chance to carry out the project following a competitive tender process. We were delighted to collaborate with the local Parish council, and excited to get to work in helping to realise their ambition of providing a dynamic, challenging play experience for children of all ages.

The project demonstrated the diversity of our service offering in a multitude of ways: the infusion of some of our most dynamic equipment needed to fit seamlessly alongside an existing basketball play area, and some was required to be located inside the former paddling pool space – this meant its existing sunken concrete floor needed to be thoroughly resurfaced and made more even, to allow for greater accessibility.

All of these services contributed towards the comprehensive overhaul that was delivered to Northfield Park, Blaby, and we were delighted that the finished site played host to a grand opening with children from two local schools as well as representatives from both councils and the local MP – with the new equipment given a ringing endorsement by all!

Meeting the Brief

The central aesthetic of the rejuvenated site was an ocean/underwater theme (in keeping with its former status as a paddling pool), and alongside bonded rubber mulch and grass mat surfacing in other parts of the site, this was specifically honoured in the pool area with an eye-catching flecked blue wetpour surface and interactive 3D shapes including a shark, turtle, numbered stepping stones and a desert island. Not only do these shapes each provide a visual wow factor and fantastic opportunities for imaginative and sensory play, they also work in perfect harmony with some of our most exciting equipment to fulfil this nautical theme:

Our spooky-themed Ghost Ship multiplay unit forms the centrepiece of the space, bringing a striking colourful visual which is sure to attract children’s attention whilst firing their imaginations, and marries an evocative ‘haunted’ aesthetic with the overarching underwater theme. Offering 17 play features which evoke the classic imaginative scenario of a sailing galleon ship to a maximum of 59 older juniors at a time, some of its topline features include a full set of sails and flags, as well as binoculars, portholes, and a ship’s wheel. A cargo net, rope climb and pull up ramp and steps facilitate entry, whilst a fireman’s pole and two metal slides provide a quick getaway, and the unit even features a ‘below deck’ section, accessible at ground level, which widens its inclusivity.

Our surfboard shaped ‘Wipe Out’ Balance Rocker also adheres to the theme whilst providing balancing adventures for two users between 8 and 15, boosting co-ordination and encouraging social interaction. The piece was especially surface mounted and bolted directly to the concrete below, demonstrating the flexibility of our manufacturing capabilities which allowed us to easily modify equipment in this way. Finally, our ocean-blue coloured Discus Inclusive Roundabout completes the nautical aesthetic whilst allowing up to 3 children of all ability levels to spin together co-operatively, and make lasting memories.

Meanwhile, additional items move in a different direction, adding an array of transportation-themed play experiences to complement the centrepiece sailing ship – our Sutcliffe Express unit takes the form of a low-level locomotive, offering 15 users the chance to enjoy 9 play features designed to encourage imaginative and social play, including a central cylindrical tunnel with a slide, and a rear cab with wheel and carriages. The unit is further complemented by our colourful MiniTown Train Station panel, which furthers the opportunities for imaginative and role play as users can play buying and selling tickets for the train, and utilise the moveable clock hands and traffic lights. Meanwhile our colourful Charlie the Plane Springie Seesaw adds an aviation element, offering balancing fun for 2 younger users, with a spinning propeller for additional play value as well as a double-fronted design.

Users also have other options to take to the skies. Our Big Sky Swing with 3 belt seats allows those with a head for heights aged 7 to 12 to swing around its central bearing hub in a carousel style, whilst visitors who prefer a more straightforward high-altitude adventure can zip forward and back using our 30m aerial Cableway (with a ramp providing easier access for all).

The site is finished with a host of playground essentials for a classic play experience: our Whirlybob Roundabout joins the other topline pieces in the paddling pool area, and brings rotating fun to up to 4 spinners aged 2 to 8, whilst an open fronted Inclusive Springie allows children with many different access requirements to enjoy a springing sensation, and a small inground trampoline lets another child bounce and develop their co-ordination and physical play skills. Finally, we added our Inclusive Swing Seat to the existing frame, providing an alternative swinging sensation for a greater range of children including those with different access requirements, and opening up more play opportunities for all.

Exceeding Expectations

Sandra Clifton, Deputy Manager to Blaby Parish Council, said: ‘From our initial meeting right to the end, Sutcliffe Play approached the project with a sense of fun and professionalism. Communication was outstanding all the way through, we felt supported and listened to, nothing was too much trouble, and queries were answered immediately. The whole process was worry-free and smooth – we couldn’t have asked for a better contractor.

The children have been thrilled and excited to explore the new play equipment, especially the ghost ship that leads to the sea themed area, stimulating their imaginative play. The new equipment is very much enjoyed by the community, and has helped to increase visitor numbers – it has totally transformed the park!’

In short, our work to bring an expansive new play space to Northfield Park in Blaby has not only delighted local children but also demonstrated our huge versatility as a leading play designer and manufacturer. We were thrilled to complete this extensive project which challenged our team in the best possible way, and gave the community a fantastic, modern, inclusive play space to call their own.


Playground Equipment:


Ghost Ship

The Ghost Ship

Wipe Out

Wipe Out

Discus Inclusive Roundabout


Sutcliffe Express


Sutcliffe Express

Big Sky Swings

Big Sky Swing


Cable Ride Ramp

Inclusive Springie

Inclusive Springie


Small Trampoline

Charlie the Plane Springie Seesaw

Charlie Seesaw

Inclusive Swing Seat

Inclusive Seat



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