New accessible play equipment for disabled children unveiled as part of £500,000 revamp across Fareham borough

Cllr Sue Bell, executive member for leisure and community with from left, Mia Coleborn, four, Ernest Burrell, four, Summer Leaning, four, and Aubrey Solly, four 'Picture: Sarah Standing (050419-5626)
Cllr Sue Bell, executive member for leisure and community with from left, Mia Coleborn, four, Ernest Burrell, four, Summer Leaning, four, and Aubrey Solly, four 'Picture: Sarah Standing (050419-5626)
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FOUR playgrounds have received new play equipment in time for the Easter Holidays - including improved accessibility for children with disabilities.

The four areas to receive an upgrade include those in Portchester Park, Sweethills Crescent in Sarisbury Green, Castle Street in Portchester, and Eastern Parade in Fareham

Jacob Ewens, four'Picture: Sarah Standing (050419-5634)

Jacob Ewens, four'Picture: Sarah Standing (050419-5634)

New equipment includes a castle-themed climbing area at Castle Street, play equipment designed for toddlers at Sweethills Crescent, and a more accessible swing and roundabout in Portchester Park.

Cllr Sue Bell, executive member for leisure and community on Fareham Borough Council, said: 'It's really important children go out into the big wide world, and get some fresh air - not sit indoors with their laptops.

'We aimed for it to be ready for the Easter Holidays, and we made it, despite the bad weather.

'The play areas are extra special as the children choose which pieces of play equipment they wanted.'

Cllr Gerry Kelly, children from Big Discoveries Nursery, Cllr Sue Bell, and Andrew Smith from Wicksteed Playground

Cllr Gerry Kelly, children from Big Discoveries Nursery, Cllr Sue Bell, and Andrew Smith from Wicksteed Playground

Last year residents were consulted on equipment they would want at the play area, with several parents expressing a need for more accessible equipment at Portchester Park.

Cllr Gerry Kelly, of Portchester East ward, said: 'I'm particularly pleased with the accessible chair where children who are disabled get a chance to play in the park.

'I can think of nothing worse than being a child in a wheelchair watching others have a wonderful time not being able to join in.'

Children from Big Discoveries Nursery were delighted to officially open the new equipment

Hannah Spencer, three 'Picture: Sarah Standing (050419-5640)

Hannah Spencer, three 'Picture: Sarah Standing (050419-5640)

Aubrey, five, said: 'It's great - I really like the new roundabout.'

Austin, four, was taken with the new swings: 'They are really good - I like the new swings.'

Children from the nursery went home with a goody-bag provided by Wicksteed, the company that supplied the play area equipment.

Fareham Borough Council plans to improve a further 16 play areas across the borough over the next five years, funded by £500,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy. The council has improved 12 play areas over the last three years.

The next round of play areas to be improved will be those in Barry's Meadow, Harbour Lane, Bath Lane, and Swanwick Lane.