Our £3 million playgrounds revamp gets into full swing

The children’s play area in Blakers Park is to have a fantastic £100,000 upgrade as part of our £3 million investment in the city’s playgrounds.

Work will begin at the park, in Fiveways, this Monday (12 July) and is due to be completed in around three weeks, just after schools break up for the summer holidays.

While the play park is closed, the nearest playground is Preston Park. 

The redevelopment includes 15 new pieces of play equipment, much of which is wheelchair accessible, with separate areas for older and younger children.

As part of the planning process, including what the playground would include, we consulted and worked with the local Friends of Blakers Park group and consulted with the public by carrying out pop up consultations, all of which were within Covid guidelines.

25 play areas to get revamp by March

The refurbishment is part of our plans to upgrade 45 play areas over the next three years, with 25 sites being finished by the end of the financial year next March.

Unfortunately, due to the tendering process, the workloads of companies that win the contracts and the availability of new play equipment, some of the playgrounds may need to be closed during various school holidays.

However, we’ll be doing our best to minimise disruption as much as possible.

'Huge difference to children and families'

Councillor Amy Heley, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The £3 million we are investing in 45 of our playgrounds will make a huge difference to the enjoyment children and families will get from these play areas.

“Not only will the equipment be newer and better, it will also be safer and far more accessible for all children.

“We have already finished Hove Park play area, and it’s now all systems go for Blakers and the other parks.”

More upgrades starting in August 

Contracts have already been awarded to companies to redevelop the following play parks which will be installed in the following order, starting in early August:

• Victoria Road Play Park, Portslade. Cost £45,000

• Greenleas Park, Hangleton, £50,000

• Dyke Road Park, Hove, £50,000

• Saunders Park, Brighton, £50,000

• East Brighton Park, £50,000

• Preston Park £100,000, starting this September.

Even more upgrades on the way

We’ve also launched the tendering process for the following playgrounds that are also part of this financial year’s package, with dates to be agreed: 

Carden Park, Patcham; Easthill Park, Portslade; Haig Avenue, Coldean; Hangleton Park, Hangleton; Hodshrove Road, Moulsecoomb; Mackie Park, Patcham; Queens Park, Brighton; St Ann’s Well Gardens, Hove; St Nicholas, Brighton; Tarner Park, Brighton; Vale Park, Portslade; Wish Park, Hove; Warrior Close, Portslade.

Cllr Heley added: “Upgrading 25 playgrounds before next April is a big task for our hardworking play team, but it will also be very exciting to see each park develop.

“Once these sites are completed, we will begin on the other 20 to ensure children throughout the city have the playgrounds they and their families deserve.”