Reading’s new half-a-million-pound playground in Prospect Park will open early, in time for the Easter holidays.

The new play area, originally announced for summer 2023, is delivered ahead of schedule and will now be open for use from Thursday, March 23.

The £530,000 investment will provide a range of exciting new facilities, catering for children of all ages and abilities by offering a variety of challenge levels.

Prospect Park’s playground will have:

  • Themed zones, including quiet play areas and activity panels
  • Roundabouts, swings and a zipwire
  • Two large climbing towers with a tunnel slide and access ramp
  • Ground-level roundabout, braille panels, lower-level inclusive play net, accessible see-saw, tactile panes, ground-level games, and a large accessible springer

It has been designed by play experts HAGS UK to include accessible surfaces and location for pushchairs and mobility aids, ensuring it is as inclusive as possible.

Reading’s Lead Councillor for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward, said: “I am delighted that we have delivered this fantastic new play area months ahead of schedule. It is inclusive of children of all ages and abilities, and the earlier opening date will be a boon to families looking for free family days out during the Easter holidays and beyond.

“Between the new play area and The Ranger Station opposite, this council has invested over £1m in play at Prospect Park: it is one of the town’s destination parks, so it was vital to us that the facilities are accessible to all children.

“Families are already enjoying our mini-golf, low ropes course and climbing tree at our family-friendly adventure hub, The Ranger Station just across the way from the new play area.”

The new playground forms part of the council’s overall £1 million investment in new playgrounds and equipment across Reading.

Project manager at HAGS UK, Tom Charman, said: “We are extremely pleased to open the play area at Prospect Park. It has been fantastic to work in partnership with Reading Council to deliver this unique play space, and we hope all of the Reading community will enjoy the new facilities.”

A new pedestrian path from the car park to the play area, with pedestrian crossing, is also included in the plans.

Once the new play area is open, the next phase will be to remove the existing play area and make the area grass parkland.