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New £250,000 children’s playground

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Work is to begin next month on a new £250,000 children’s playground at Verulamium Park in St Albans

The attraction will include 30 features and will be divided into zones that reflect the City’s rich history.

These include a Roman-style basilica, a mini-amphitheatre, a market street and a main pathway named Watling Street.

Among the features are a multi see-saw, five-way swing, a battering ram group swing, stepping posts, two carousels, Roman-numeral hopscotch and a picnic area.

The play area was designed by specialist firm Kompan which won a competitive tender with work scheduled to start on Monday 14 September.

It will be placed on the site of three ageing tennis courts which will be removed, close to the park’s outdoor gym, mini-golf and beach volleyball courts.

The existing playground, which was installed around 25 years ago and had reached the end of its life, will be dismantled when the new one is completed around mid-November.

This area of the park will then be grassed over and returned to its natural state.

St Albans City and District Council, which owns the park, organised efforts to provide the new playground with help from community group Verulamium at Play.

Verulamium at Play was set up to campaign for the facility and raised more than £60,000 of funds for the project.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm, said:

I’m delighted that this project has come to fruition after several years of campaigning and fund raising.

We were aware for some time that the park was badly in need of a new play area, but the substantial amount of money needed to provide it was not available in our hard-pressed budget.

Verulamium at Play helped immensely with an impressive local campaign and fund-raising drive. Representatives from the group also joined a panel that chose the final design so that they were heavily involved in the whole process.

I have studied the plans and have no doubt this will be a very imaginative, interactive play area, packed with exciting and engaging features for children. It will be yet another reason for people to visit and enjoy this flagship park.

Jessica Chivers from Verulamium at Play said:

Throughout the whole process we’ve been keen to ensure the play area is inclusive and reflects our Roman heritage.

We think the final design does that and we’re really excited about seeing children laughing, smiling and clambering over the new kit. We hope it’s a big hit!

Additional funds for the project came from S106 payments given to the Council by property developers.

This is money for community infrastructure in recognition of the impact a new development may have.

The Council’s City Neighbourhoods Committee, which manages some of the City’s community assets, also contributed to the project.

Picture: Cllr Rowlands at the Verulamium Park playground.

Councillor contact: Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm,, 07761 232064.

Media contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City District Council: 01727-819533,