The build started on a major play space for Bilborough yesterday, based on a wide public consultation and addressing a local need for accessible and safe places to play. The park will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the whole community to enjoy. There is currently no play area for the area so the project has been a blank canvas on which to work and explore ideas. It is envisaged the site will be open for the school summer holidays.

Children from Glenbrook School with developers and local councillors
Children from Glenbrook School with developers and local councillors

After the consultation period, several designs were worked up and local residents were asked to choose the scheme they most preferred. The result is a design with lots of opportunities for climbing, sliding, jumping, swinging, and exploring.

Many of the areas are designed for children to play together, encouraging role play, imagination and learning.

The community also wanted the site to be highly accessible. There will be wide spaces between areas and sections with wheelchair access. A sensory experience area has also been incorporated to allow those with visual impairments to play and enhance their experience. This includes a solar powered sound experience where users can hear music as they swing.

Other highlights include the HMS Nottingham – Enter via the wheelchair accessible ramps to this interactive ship incorporating slide, tunnels and its own telescope as well as nets to scramble up.

There will also be a giant trampoline which is more than large enough for a group of children to bounce together. This was one of the key requests from the community consultation.

The various areas of the site will be linked by model road and roundabout systems which will encourage users to bring their bikes and scooters and to learn road safety. This has been highly successful on the Victoria Embankment park site which opened around a year ago and it is likely there will be some road safety courses on the site.

The whole site will be linked to the Biba App which can be downloaded for free and does not require an internet connection once downloaded. This means users can scan markers to unlock puzzles, challenges and rewards as they play.

The development will cost £130,000 in total with local company WREN contributing £60,000. WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.

Councillor Wendy Smith, Nottingham City Council Ward Councillor for Bilborough said: We are delighted that the project is now starting to take shape. It’s great to see our vision for this vital community facility moving closer to reality. We are extremely grateful for the funding WREN has given us and we’re looking forward to opening to the public.”

Cheryl Raynor, WREN’s grant manager for Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire said: “It’s always nice to see something we have funded start to take shape. We’re delighted to be supporting such a worthwhile project and look forward to it benefiting the children in the local area.”