First look at 'fantastic' new £100,000 play equipment
PUBLISHED: 14:30 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:30 09 July 2019
A new £100,000 facility has been unveiled in a popular park after play equipment used by generations was replaced.
The major new piece of children's play equipment was opened during a special ceremony in Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad.
The project, arranged by Oulton Broad Parish Council, sees the new Upbeat Apace Plus play equipment replacing the old fort and helter-skelter, which had come to the end of their serviceable life, having been on the play area for more than 40 years.
With the grand opening held last Friday, July 5, Andrew Page, chairman 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 six 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 an inclusive design - with numerous climbing ropes, tunnels, ladders and puzzles built into the unit.
Lenny Cole, four, and Roxy Harrod, four, cut the ribbon - assisted by Sandra Keller, Oulton Broad Parish Council chairman, at the opening cermeony.
Mrs 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 were joined by the community to watch the opening, with children receiving a drink and sweets from the parish council.
The project has been paid for by the parish council with some grants also being received from Suffolk County councillor locality funding. The three county councillors who gave their support - Keith Robinson, James Reeder and 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.
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 alongside it.
Mr Page said: "We will be looking at options for the new open space.
"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 anyone 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."
Contact Oulton Broad Parish Council on 01502 564289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org