The Renovation of Wanstead Playground
The playground is at the heart of our community but is becoming increasingly run down. We want to reinvigorate the space for the thousands of children that use it each year. We have support of hundreds of individuals and businesses indicating the community agree with how essential the playground is to our community and the High Street on which it is located.
We want to ensure that children for many years to come have a safe and fun place to play. We want to encourage a wider range of people to use the space, including toddlers, over 7s and children with additional needs to play together.
The playground is well located in the heart of Wanstead, opposite the local library, nursery school, a café providing work experience and employment to people with learning disabilities, a church and the mainly independent High Street. Users of the playground usually combine their visit these places and so we believe the playground and High Street help to make each other successful.
What we’ll do:
- Install brand new, modern play equipment
- Include a new toddler-friendly play area
- Lay new, child-friendly, safety flooring
- Provide more benches and seating areas
- Provide inclusive and engaging equipment
Why it’s a great idea:
Our community have told us! A petition to improve the playground was distributed in the High Street. This resulted in approx. 500 signatures. In Spring 2015 we conducted a survey of 175 users and 98% said that they wanted the playground to be renovated.
In addition, in 2006, The London Borough of Redbridge produced a Redbridge Play Strategy 2007- 2012, which stated that “The results show low quality provision across the Borough, but particularly poor assessments in the wards of … Snaresbrook and Wanstead.” Our playground has only had one new item installed since and there is no provision for any future items due to current budgetary constraints.
Our fundraising to date has been mainly through Spacehive where we have had pledges from over 300 residents and businesses, as well as fundraising events and business sponsorship. Our High Street has been badly affected by the opening of Westfield Stratford and trade from the playground is essential to keeping trade in our High Street.
How we’ll get it done:
- Work closely with Vision RCL who manage and maintain the playground for LB Redbridge
- Work with parents, carers and the local community to develop the best park possible
- Work closely with playground designers to design the spaces
- Install the equipment and open the new playground as quickly as possible
We have observed that on a busy day there can be over 140 children in the playground, many of whom will stop at the shops or go into one of the many cafes or restaurants. Local businesses have all told us that when the playground is busy, they are busy. We are installing a supporters board in the playground detailing those that have funded the project and some will also have plaques attached to items that they have bought. We are also working on transport related designs which show the High Street linking Wanstead and Snaresbrook tubes.
We are planning to fundraise until late October 2015 and then review our progress with our board and Vision RCL. We will then decide on the most suitable playground, taking into consideration recommendations from Play England and ensuring the best play value for all users. Vision RCL expect to have contracted a supplier by Christmas with a view to installing the playground in early Spring 2016, with the new facility being fully installed by May 2016.