READING Council today announced the winning design for the new playground at Ivydene in west Reading.
A consultation, launched on 25th May, put the choice of five playground designs to the public vote. Letters were written to residents living near the playground, the shortlisted designs were on display at Rivermead Leisure Centre and Wilson Primary School, with children at the school and those attending Rivermead using a ballot box and voting slips to choose their preferred option. People could also vote online.
Over 800 votes were received in total, with the winning design, number 2 from Kompan, receiving over half of the votes. It was also overwhelmingly the favourite choice of the school children.
Comments on the winning design included: “I like it because it is suitable for all ages and has a range of different equipment,” and “Looks like the best design – more fun things for children and not too crowded.”
Ivydene play area, located next to Portman Road in west Reading, has been earmarked for a £100K investment. 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.
The winning design is now on display at Rivermead Leisure Centre during opening hours, at Wilson Primary School and online at www.reading.gov.uk/Ivydene
Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m delighted to announce the winning design from Kompan – which has proved overwhelmingly the most popular choice and a clear winner with our voters.
“I’m really pleased that we are able to put such a significant sum into Ivydene. It is one of our key priorities that we provide high quality equipment in as many of our playgrounds as possible so that children of all abilities can play together and we are delighted this design delivers so positively on that aspect.
“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 progressing 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. Following feedback, we included a comments section in the Ivydene consultation. We will be continuing to listen to the feedback we have received and ensuring that these conversations aid our ongoing ambition to improve our playground offer for as wide of range of abilities as we can.“You can view the winning design at Rivermead Lesiure Centre or online at www.reading.gov.uk/Ivydene.”
The new equipment is designed for toddlers and children up to the age of twelve years and will provide accessible equipment for children of all abilities.
Kompan’s design plan includes:
• Creating accessible surfaces to lead up to the play area and make up the circulation space within the play area;
• Accessible gated entrances in the play area fencing in contrasting colour & tone for those with sight impairments;
• Clear design & easy navigation around the site;
• Colour accents give visual stimulation.
The new playground will also feature a range of exciting play equipment, including:
· The unique design of a Supernova roundabout, which allows support from every angle, its sloped design offering a choice for a convenient and safe height for transferring from a wheelchair or mobility aid.
· The Kompan trampoline which is accessible to wheelchair users and adds a thrilling bouncing or rocking experience for all children, accessible from ground level without wheelchair users having to transfer out of their chair.
· A birds nest shell seat features a rubber bumper for a nice tactile grip and this also help prevents users from slipping out. The shallow seat allows easy transfer in and out again (users with low core strength can find it difficult to get out a deeply concave seat). The spaciousness supports various body positions: seated, lying, standing, kneeling and of course allows for multiple users. The seat also features grip handles to each side and drain holes for rainwater to pass out the centre.
For more information on Kompan visit www.kompan.co.uk
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
The Council’s 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.
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