Three new play parks officially opened

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There were smiles all round as local children helped officially open brand-new play parks at Woodlands (Gilford), The Birches and Mahon Road (Portadown) this week, following a £200k investment.

Local children, community representatives and schools, along with contractors, elected members, and council officials joined the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Margaret Tinsley to cut the ribbon and celebrate the hard work that enabled these play areas to become a reality.

Commenting on the new play parks, Lord Mayor Margaret Tinsley said:

“Play is a fundamental part of children’s growth and development – socially, emotionally, physically, and educationally. The new play parks are a fantastic asset to these areas, and I encourage children and their parents/carers to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, make new friends and have fun trying new things. The variety of equipment across these parks is impressive and there is something to suit all children so I hope they enjoy getting outside to play!”

Initial consultations were carried with the local community and schools to identify their needs and cater for children and young people up to the age of 14 in each of the areas.

Each play park features junior and senior units, basket swings, swings with an inclusive harness, monkey bars, inclusive roundabouts, see-saws, springers and play panels.

Children from Gilford Primary School, Birches Primary School and Bright Stars Nursey attended the official openings and were delighted to have a go on the new equipment!

As part of the council’s commitment to sustainability and Play Development programme, sustainable surfacing has been installed at Mahon Road Play Park. Nike Grind, a one-of-a-kind product that transforms used sports shoes into colourful and fully tested impact absorbing rubber surfacing, has been applied around the inclusive roundabout – what looks good is also doing good for the environment!

This investment is part of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s £4.75m Play Strategy, which will see a number of play parks across the borough refurbished, alongside our commitment to non-fixed play, which is crucial to child development.
Contractor works were carried out by Farrans and Garden Escapes.

For more information, contact Joan Noade, Play Development Officer at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on 07515 607 472.