Major Refurbishment for Adventure Playgrounds Starts

Spring reopenings for Battersea Park, York Gardens and Kimber Road

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The borough’s three adventure playgrounds are all about to undergo major refurbishment work before reopening in the Spring.

The playgrounds are all being modernised as part of an investment programme this winter of £500,000. New equipment is likely to include rope swings, chain ladders, aerial walkways, tube slides, scramble nets, zip wires and fireman's poles.

Each winter the three playgrounds close for maintenance work and at other times offer only restricted opening hours because the dark evenings mean that children cannot attend after school. The playgrounds always fully reopen each year in the Spring and will do so again as normal next Spring.

During the winter months Battersea Park's adventure playground will undergo a £200,000 refurbishment while the one at York Gardens will also benefit from a major facelift and the installation of new equipment. The playground at Kimber Road will undergo a £170,000 transformation into a new skateboarding venue, which we think will be enormously popular with local children and teenagers.

When they reopen early next year all three playgrounds will offer local young people a greater variety and choice of new and exciting play facilities, and all three will also be able to remain open for longer than was previously possible.

The changes do mean that staff will no longer be needed to supervise children and young people. Staff had to be on duty because the existing play equipment was not professionally manufactured or produced, and was instead largely DIY in nature, requiring adult supervision.

The staffing changes mean that local taxpayers will save around £386,000 each year.

Wandsworth manages more than 200 playgrounds and play areas in parks, commons and housing estates. Over the past four years £2.5 million has been spent on maintaining and improving these facilities for young people.

The town hall also provides a grant worth £125,000 a year to a local charity which provides an adventure playground on Wandsworth Common specifically aimed at children with disabilities.

Children's services spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: "The council has an excellent track record of providing top quality play facilities for young people in Wandsworth and is committed to this continuing in the future.

"We are investing heavily in improvements to our adventure playgrounds which are open to all young people to enjoy. At the same time, we are improving our support for disadvantaged children and young people who need extra help."

September 28, 2012