READING Council is inviting local school children and residents to vote on their preferred design for a new playground in West Reading.
Ivydene play area, located next to Portman Road in west Reading, has been earmarked for a £100K investment.
The existing equipment and surfacing have reached the end of their life and the Council is now taking this opportunity to replace everything and reconfigure the area to make best use of the available space.
The new equipment will be designed for toddlers and children up to the age of twelve years and will provide accessible equipment for children of all abilities.
The Council has invited a number of playground manufacturers to submit proposed design ideas for the new playground, which will be used to consult with local residents and school children.
Wilson Primary School will be displaying the shortlisted designs. Children at the school will use ballot boxes and voting slips to choose their preferred option between 4th and 10th June.
The designs will also be on display at Rivermead Leisure Complex from Saturday 25th May to Monday 10th June for people to vote for the winning design during their opening hours.
The designs can also be viewed and voted for online until Monday 10th June at www.reading.gov.uk/Ivydene
The winning design will be announced and on display from Monday 17th June. It is anticipated that the work will start on site in September and ready for use by the half term week in October. The existing play area will be closed while the refurbishment is undertaken.
Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said:
“It is one of our key priorities that we provide high quality, accessible equipment in as many of our playgrounds as possible so that children of all abilities can play together.
“I’m delighted that we are able to put such a significant sum into Ivydene. Understanding what our children want in terms of play spaces just makes common sense, and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to ensure this by engaging local school children in voting for their favourite design. Furthermore, I am eager to always ensure that play equipment is advised by children of all abilities and I am looking to progress the ways in which we engage with those children and families who have special needs situations to be an integral part of our play provision allocation processes.
“I’d encourage local residents to check out our shortlisted designs at Rivermead Leisure Centre from Saturday 25th May to Monday 10th June or online at www.reading.gov.uk/Ivydene.”
Funding for playground improvements across the borough have been secured by the Council from developers who made a contribution to the Council’s Community Infrastructure Fund. Reading communities were consulted last summer on how money collected from local planning developments should be spent. The top ranked schemes, including Ivydene, were approved at the Council’s Policy Meeting on 26th November 2018
Policy Committee agreed that £100,000 be invested to improve the play area at Ivydene, adjacent to Portman Road. Other Playground investment agreed includes:
· £100K – Canal Way (replacing Avon Place play area)
· £65K – Coley Recreation Ground, west Reading
· £95K – Cintra Park, south Reading
· £155K – Long Barn Lane Recreation Ground
In addition to the investment for leisure and play from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – the contribution developers, that has benefited Ivydene, the work complements the Council’s a wider 2.7M boost for Reading’s parks and playgrounds which is part of the Council’s capital investment programme over the next 3 years.
Just over £1.6 million will contribute to the expansion, replacement or upgrading of playground equipment in parks and play areas across the borough. With a focus on areas in most need of new equipment and a big drive on providing accessible equipment for children of all abilities, particularly in areas where there is little provision for children with disabilities.
Reading’s two main parks, Prospect Park and Palmer Park, are priorities for improvements to play equipment, including the provision or replacement of obsolete equipment for children with disabilities. Park users and local residents will be consulted on the type of equipment they want to see.
Media are invited to send a photographer / film at Wilson Primary School on Thursday June 6th at 9.30am where pupils will be casting their votes for their preferred playground.
View the full Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) report : https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=138&MId=1840&Ver=4
View the capital investment programme here: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=138&MId=1842