The project, arranged by Oulton Broad Parish Council, sees the new “Upbeat Apace Plus” play equipment replace the old fort and helter-skelter, which had come to the end of their serviceable life, having been on the play area for over 40 years.
Cllr Andrew Page, chair of the Oulton Broad Parish Council Finance Committee said; “There was much love for the old helter-skelter, but it was very much at the end of its life, after decades of use on the site. It was ageing badly and didn’t meet the safety standards required. At the formation of the parish council back in 2017 we were aware of a number of assets that would require investment and by working in partnership with East Suffolk Norse, Playdale Playgrounds and PlayMatta Surfacing, we are delighted to have been able to upgrade the play area with this fantastic new equipment”.
“It has been an ambitious project with a cost just reaching 6 figures, but we are investing in the future, building on the facilities in this beautiful park, and creating new and exciting experiences for the children today, so they can have the same happy memories of Nicholas Everitt Park as the older generations did in the past”.
The new equipment has so many features and is much more interactive than the old ones. With an inclusive design it has features that can be used by less mobile children, and the many climbing ropes, tunnels, hopes, ladders and puzzles built into the unit makes for something really exciting. This adds to the other disabled-friendly equipment already in the play area, the disabled roundabout, and the disabled swing seats installed by the parish council earlier in the year.
The grand opening saw Lenny Cole, age 4, and Roxy Harrod, age 4, cut the ribbon assisted by Cllr Sandra Keller, chair of Oulton Broad Parish Council.
Cllr Keller said, “The new unit has two slides, one of which is a covered spiral slide, which we feel nicely reflects the old helter-skelter”.
Children and parents from Dell Nursery and Dell Primary School and the local area joined to watch the opening, with children receiving a drink and sweets from Oulton Broad Parish Council. Other members of the public and representatives from East Suffolk Norse and the local community also attended.
The project has been paid for by Oulton Broad Parish Council with some grants also being received from Suffolk County councillor locality funding. The three councillors who gave their support, Cllr Keith Robinson, Cllr James Reeder and Cllr Jenny Ceresa attended the opening.
The area around the new equipment has been also been landscaped, removing all of the old style surface and replacing with new safety matting. The old tree stump, left after the tree was cut down many years ago, has been ground out and the circular bench has been refurbished and relocated around another tree in the playground.
New turf has also be laid, so there is now more grassed area than before and the new equipment has been positioned allowing for a larger open area to remain along side it.
“We will be looking at options for the new open space” said Cllr Page, “it is an ideal area for another new piece of play equipment and Oulton Broad Parish Council will consider what could be added there in the future. If any one has any suggestions of what type of play equipment they would like to see put in that space we encourage them to give us their ideas!”.
Oulton Broad Parish Council can be contacted on 01502 564289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.