Young footballers scored a new playground extension highly after members of the community had their say on its development.
The impressive £28,000 facility at Jubilee Park in Whitchurch, was designed and manufactured by outdoor play experts, Creative Play, as part of a significant investment from Whitchurch Town Council.
The family firm were set the mission of turning a “blank canvas” into a dream destination designed to challenge youngsters’ physical, motor and social skills.
Spread over a large area, the extension features a pirate ship, climbing unit and basket swing.
On Saturday, it was given the seal of approval by team members of Whitchurch Alport Junior Football Club during its official opening which was also attended by the Mayor of Whitchurch, Councillor Tony Neville, and Councillor Terry O’Neill, chair of the Parks Committee.
Creative Play’s sales director, David Esser, explained how the project came about.
He said: “The town clerk for the council approached us asking us to provide three design options for a play area extension.
“We submitted some options and they were displayed in the Civic Hall along with designs from two other companies as part of a week-long public consultation.
“Members of the community were asked to come and see the designs and put a sticker on whichever one they thought was best, and one of ours was the most popular choice.
“The council made the final decision in late September and asked if the work could be turned around quickly in time for the October half term and we managed to do that for them.”
David, who has worked for the Chester-based company for more than seven years, added: “The playground extension includes a basket swing which is great for promoting inclusivity as it is suitable for children with limited mobility.
“There’s also a climbing unit which is very different from the equipment that is already there in the existing playground.
“Because the area is near the old canal site, people were really keen that some sort of boat was involved so we’ve built a pirate ship with a slide, climbing nets and tunnels.
“I visited the playground a short while later and it was nice to see the area swarming with children.
“It’s a fantastic play area which, because it’s made from natural timber materials, is in-keeping with the lovely setting.”
Whitchurch Mayor, Councillor Tony Neville said: “The new extension to the Jubilee Park play area is fantastic.
“The equipment is a great addition and Whitchurch Town Council thank everyone for taking part in the consultation.
“The council hope that families will get great pleasure in playing on the new equipment, we have done what the residents asked for and are extremely happy with the result.”
Councillor Terry O’Neill, chair of the Parks Committee said: “I have worked closely with council members, the clerk and Creative Play to move this project forward and I am very happy with the outcome.
“Creative Play has been very good to work with and their team did a splendid job with installing the new play area in good time for half term.
“Having met many of the families and children who voted during our public consultation, and seen the drawings of the play area extension, the actual play equipment surpasses the drawings and I have only received positive feedback.”
Members of Whitchurch Alport Junior Football Club were very enthusiastic about the new play area. Tyler Depaul, seven, said: “We come to the park a lot to play and the new pirate ship is really brilliant!”
Club chairman, Rob Foster, said: “The playground extension is a brilliant addition to the park.
“It’s new and fresh and gives the kids something the park has been lacking for quite some time.
“I remember when the first play area was built and my children used to love it then but this is even better.”