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Brand new play area for Central Park, Park Farm, Ashford

Published: 05/09/2022
Artistic impression of new Central Park play area

Work is set to begin bringing a new accessible play area and outdoor gym to Central Park, Park Farm.

The community will be able to enjoy exciting new facilities including an all-inclusive flush roundabout and multi tower multiplay unit with a slide. A sensory play zone and a wide range of swings including a basket swing, parent/child multi swing and a multi person rope swing and for the younger persons there are a number of items including a toddler multiplay unit with slide.

The new outdoor gym area, which will go in the place of the existing infant play area, features a range of equipment for strength, balance, stability and agility training, to improve access to free health and wellbeing activities in the community.

New seating, picnic tables and bins will be installed to provide a communal space, accessible for all, to enjoy the outdoors.

Part of the work will include expanding the footprint of the play area to accommodate the new equipment, providing a new path from the main footpath and closing off the two entrances that lead into the vehicle area.

Work will also be carried out to improve access and open out sightlines onto the island area and installing new picnic benches.

The work is due to start on from Monday 5 September and is expected to be complete by the start of November. The first phase of work will be taking out most of the old equipment, leaving recent additions that the community fundraised to have installed and which will be integrated into the new scheme.

The new facilities and layout have been based on the results of a public consultation which took place earlier this year, including with the Park Farm Playground Community Group.

A workshop was held with local children with additional needs and their parents to consult on bringing in new inclusive and accessible play features, allowing people of all abilities and ages to play together with no restrictions.

The project will cost £400,000 and is part of the council’s £1.1m investment – The Play Regeneration Programme, approved by Cabinet in September 2021.

Cllr Matthew Forest, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Property and Recreation said

“Ashford Borough Council are committed to providing high quality recreation and sports facilities for its communities. Much work has gone in partnership with the local parish council and the community to bring this design to life.

The new play area and outdoor gym facilities will provide thousands more resident’s access to accessible outside recreation.

I am excited to see work begin and looking forward to the community having a new improved space for fitness and wellbeing and enjoying spending time with family and friends.”

An official opening will take place once the works are completed. Details of the opening will be announced in due course.