Astley Park Destination Play Area, Chorley

The project involved the design and build of an innovative and unique ‘Cavalier and Roundheads’ themed bespoke destination play space, the value of which was in excess of £250K.

The design was developed by Newground’s creative play design team in close consultation with Chorley Borough Council. The theme of the ‘Destination Play Area’ is of Royalists and Roundheads, having an historical link to Astley Hall where it’s believed Oliver Cromwell once stayed. The park is listed and so close consultation with the Planning Dept and the Cultural Assets Manager formed part of the development process and helped determine the parameters of the design whilst ensuring that the entire park’s offer became the attraction and not just the play area alone.

Newground both designed and built this unique play space based on a ‘Castle Ruin’ and ‘Royalists Retreat’. We used natural stone to form ‘rooms’ interlinked with footpaths with play equipment interspersed throughout the design.

The play space includes a climbing tower, a bespoke platform with climbing elements, a drawbridge, balance logs, slides, double zip line, rotators, hand held swings over a moat, tunnel, portcullis and boulder climbing wall and rock stack. We also used local artists to carve thrones and a working ‘pig on a spit’.

Newground’s flexible approach enabled us to involve local children and unemployed young people with the construction part of the play area. They made copper plaques for the massive King & Queen’s table, coats of arms for the entrance way and helped with planting.

This has become a real draw for visitors to the park, allowing creative use of social and play spaces and appeals to a wide variety of ages and abilities.

Newground also produced a series of bespoke interactive signs with gentle reminders for the advisory safe use of the play area.

Councillor Bev Murray, who has responsibility for the Astley complex at Chorley Council, officially opened the play area with Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle.

Councillor Murray said: “The destination play area is absolutely amazing - everyone was excited to see it finished but it looks better than we could have ever imagined and we hope everyone will enjoy creating their own adventures on it”.


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