Refreshing the U12 Playground at the Recreation Ground

A group of Stapleford residents working with the Parish Council have been investigating options to refresh the under-12s playground. The Jubilee Playground, next to the Recreation Ground and the tennis courts, was created in 2000 and whilst still popular with local families, the equipment needs a refresh.

Local parents Rosie Brown, Beckie Whitehouse and Rebecca Trigg have been working with Gillian Pett from the Stapleford Parish Council. The group have surveyed local families via Facebook and the primary school to find out what residents and their children think about the existing playground, and what they’d like to see in the future.

Results showed that families love the setting and the natural play opportunities, like the hill and the trees, but overwhelmingly felt that the site would benefit from some new and improved equipment. Favourite suggestions included a slide on the hill, a sunken trampoline and a new climbing frame.

In October, Gillian presented some initial research to the Parish Council indicating that it would cost between £50-80k to overhaul the play park, depending on the equipment purchased. The Parish Council have committed £20k from the Section106 funds to start the ball rolling, and Gillian’s team are now in the process of investigating fundraising options for the remainder. There may be contributions from local firms or donations from individuals, but grants look to be the most likely way to source additional funding.

Gillian’s group are keen to make the most of the site’s natural assets, for example adding fencing at the top of the hill to create a ‘play fort’ effect and adding a double-width slide built in to the hill – something that existed in the playground many years ago, we’re told!

In terms of deciding on and purchasing the range of equipment, it will depend on how much money can be secured. There are many options, and the group feel that it would be better to get a few new pieces for a lower budget, rather than waiting to fundraise for the largest amount. The final costs would need to include not just the new equipment and installation, but also removing or refurbishing existing equipment and resurfacing the playground too.

The next step for the group is establishing how much extra funding can be sourced and then getting final quotes from a range of play equipment suppliers like Kompan, Wicksteed and Playdale. At that stage, the community will be asked to feedback on the various options.

Gillian’s group hope that they can move quickly to secure grant funding or donations and commission the new playground build in 2021. Given the challenges of 2020, having a place for families to gather to play, watch sport and enjoy community events seems more important than ever.

If you would like to get involved in the project, either by making a donation or by helping fundraise, please contact Gillian Pett at or