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First look at new play area to be built at Ipswich’s Christchurch Park

PUBLISHED: 18:30 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:40 05 May 2020

Work is now underway to build a new play area at Christchurch Park in Ipswich. This is what it is set to look like. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Work is now underway to build a new play area at Christchurch Park in Ipswich. This is what it is set to look like. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Construction crews have begun building a new play area at Ipswich’s Christchurch Park to help celebrate the park’s 125th birthday.

The existing play area was deemed to have past its operational life  Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGEThe existing play area was deemed to have past its operational life Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

The new play area will be complete with a castle and butterfly climbing net under the theme “nature and wonderment” to encapsulate the park’s rich natural and historical heritage.

It comes as the existing play area was deemed to be at the end of its working life following an inspection.

The first construction workers moved in to demolish the existing areas of the playground on Monday, May 4, with the council stressing all workers will follow strict social distancing guidelines as per government regulation.

Lisa Stannard, operations manager for parks at Ipswich Borough Council, said staff are excited to show the final result to the town in the near future.

Ms Stannard said: “The play area has been there for a number of years and after an inspection we found the pirate ship was past its operational life.

“As the park prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary, we thought this was the perfect time for a change – although now unfortunately we have the ongoing coronavirus situation.

“The park’s theme of ‘nature and wonderment’ will be clear when small children enter the park – with long blades of grass shielding the view of the towering castle.

“It will also include inclusive play equipment so all children can enjoy it.”

The new play area will include further advancements to improve safety, including removing the existing bark – which Ms Stannard admitted made it easy for items to become hidden underneath – to be replaced with safer “bouncy” flooring.

The council was unable to clarify how much the new play area will cost, although Ms Stannard confirmed the project had been budgeted for.

It is expected the project will take between 10 to 12 weeks to complete. However, the timescale could change depending on any alterations to lockdown and social distancing guidelines.

The park has remained open throughout the coronavirus lockdown to accommodate for people’s daily outdoor exercise trips – although the well-loved Christchurch Mansion was closed alongside the visitor’s centre on Tuesday, March 17.


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