Cries of joy and beaming smiles lit up Coate Water this morning (23 March) when an eagerly-awaited play park was officially unveiled to delighted children.
Work to build the new accessible park began in early January and schoolchildren from Badbury Park Primary School, Brimble Hill Primary School and Crowdy’s Hill School were the first to try out the wide range of specialist play equipment, which is suitable for toddlers up to those aged 14.
The play park was designed by ESP Play Parks on behalf of Swindon Borough Council, and has capacity for up to 100 children at any one time.
Mums on a Mission, a local accessibility campaign group, worked closely with the Council and ESP on the design of the park to make sure the new facility is accessible to as many children as possible.
An inclusive wheelchair roundabout, an inclusive multi-play seesaw and a larger multi-play unit are some of the new features of the play park along with a number of swings, including one which is wheelchair accessible.
In-ground trampolines, slides and a nine-platform multi-play unit have been added to keep children entertained as well as an inclusive sandpit, sensory bells and wind chimes, together with an inclusive spinning carousel.
The £500,000 cost of the play area was funded from Section 106 developer contributions with construction being completed slightly ahead of schedule.
Councillor Matty Courtliff, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience, said: “I’m so pleased to see another project at Coate Water finished ahead of schedule and this amazing new play area opened to the public.
“One of my priorities has been to ensure Coate Water, along with all our country parks, provides an accessible and inclusive experience for all visitors and this is a really positive step in the right direction.
“I can’t want to bring my own children here as we head into Spring, so they can enjoy the brand-new equipment set amongst a magnificent, natural location.”
Andrew Wood, Managing Director of ESP Play Parks, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be involved in such a wonderful community project.
“This community play area at Coate Water Park will provide an inclusive play space for families and children to use from the whole community and wider.
“Our team at ESP Play Parks have worked tirelessly to design this stunning new playground and to ensure the project was completed on time and ready for the Easter holidays.
“I would to thank Swindon Borough Council for choosing ESP Play Parks for this project and I would like to praise the whole team at ESP Play Parks for their hard work in delivering the project.”
Anna Bird, from Mums on a Mission, said: “We are absolutely over the moon with this incredible, inclusive play park.
“Mums on a Mission had a huge amount of input into the design of the park and we’re delighted that so many of our ideas and suggestions were taken on board.
“This park has some superb accessible equipment, including Swindon’s first ever wheelchair-accessible swing, and one of the best multi-play ramped units we’ve ever seen.
“Our children will love this park and we can’t wait to bring them along – because all children deserve to play.”