IVYDENE playground is now open for play and ready for the October half term.

The play area, located next to Portman Road in west Reading, has been transformed over the summer thanks to an £92K investment.

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The new equipment has been designed for toddlers and children up to the age of twelve and provides a range of facilities for children of all abilities, including a giant pendulum rope swing, a ground level bouncing unit, colourful spinner bowls and an inclusive carousel roundabout.

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A consultation in May put the choice of five playground designs to the public vote, including enlisting children at Wilson Primary School who voted using ballot boxes and voting slips to choose their preferred option.

Over 800 votes were received in total, with the winning design from Kompan, receiving over half of the votes.

Children from Wilson School visited the playground on Tuesday October 15 to join in with the official opening celebration and to enjoy the new play facility they voted on.

School girls Annie White and Alicia Swallow, both age 10, said they loved the new playground.

They said: “It’s really fun! There is so much to do. It has stuff for big kids and young kids – for everyone!”

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m delighted Ivydene is now open and ready for local children to enjoy during the October half term.

“I’m really pleased that we were able to put such a significant sum into Ivydene.

"It is one of our key priorities that we provide high quality equipment in as many of our playgrounds as possible so that children of all abilities can play together and we are delighted this design delivers so positively on that aspect.

"I also want to thank ward councillors, who I know were supportive of this project and understandably eager to ensure west Reading benefits from high quality play facilities.

“Understanding what our children want in terms of play spaces just makes common sense, and I’m really pleased we were able to engage local school children in voting for their favourite design – and it is great to see them having fun on the equipment today!

"Knowing how important accessibility is within our playgrounds I’m also happy we were also able to work into the budget an additional accessible carousel roundabout.

“Over the next three years we are set to invest £2.7M in Reading’s parks and playgrounds which is part of the Council’s capital investment programme, with just over £1.6 million of which will contribute to the expansion, replacement or upgrading of playground equipment in parks and play areas across the borough, including major investment at Reading’s two main parks, Prospect Park and Palmer Park.”

Funding for Ivydene’s improvements has come through developer contributions from local redevelopment.