Contract awarded for play equipment at Radnor Park

HAGS UK has been awarded the contract to create an exciting new play area at Radnor Park in time for summer.

Work is underway that is the first phase of a project involving multiple organisations and partners, and nearly £400,000 of funding.

The new play area will include a railway themed zone for toddlers, with a climbing train and carriages, a tunnel, tracks, turntable roundabout and a station; a raised hill with places for scrambling, perching and climbing and a striking centrepiece and; exciting and challenging climbing equipment for 8-12 year olds including a six-metre high net pyramid and 20-metre long zip line.

Mark Grace, Managing director for HAGS UK said: “As a Shepway resident, I’ve found my involvement in this flagship project highly rewarding. I have personally enjoyed working with our Creative Team to develop a scheme that can evolve and develop, just as the park has over time. Our immediate task is to meet the local community’s specific needs and we’ve done that with high quality, fun and reliable products.”

The play facilities will enjoy a fantastic new setting next to the recently opened Radnor Park Tea Rooms and the soon-to-be-restored Victorian water fountain. The pathways around the fountain will be refurbished and repaired, and new trees, plants and seating will create a welcoming entrance for visitors. The tea room will have more space for outdoor seating.

£128,000 funding for the play equipment was secured as a contribution towards community infrastructure from developer Pentland Homes. Their development of 130 new homes at Scholars Village on Park Farm road includes an on-site play area and an additional payment for Shepway District council to spend on play provision nearby.

Significant additional funding for the play equipment has come from the efforts of the Radnor Park Community Group. The group, lead by mother of three Susie Illman, was set up and continues to be inspired by local parents wanting a great place for their children to play. To date the group has raised over £110,000 including £50,000 from the council’s Community Chest grant and £55,000 from the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.

Trevor Minter, speaking on behalf of the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, said: “Trustees are pleased to be able to help improve amenities for children and families in this central location in Folkestone. Developing sport and recreation are key priorities for Trustees, who have made significant donations towards building and equipping over 20 play areas and recreation grounds in this area, as well as more substantial projects at Three Hill Sports Park and the Urban Sports Park, which will open next year.”

The community group is part of a partnership between Folkestone and Hythe District Council, Folkestone Town Council, Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Ground Charities and East Kent College to realise a vision of an exciting new space for the whole community.

The project includes the refurbishment of Radnor Park Lodge and its establishment as a Tea Room and the full restoration of the St Eanswythe water fountain.

A spokesman for Folkestone and Hythe District Council said: “Lots of people, groups and organisations have helped with the project so far. All that hard work and generous funding is paying off – it will be wonderful to see the play areas ready for summer.”