Opening event for new South Cliff Gardens' children’s play area

Thursday, 10 November 2022
Picture of part of the new children's play area in South Cliff Gardens

The opening of an innovative and unique new children’s play area in Scarborough’s South Cliff Gardens, themed on the town’s rich Victorian architecture, will be celebrated with a community event next week.

People of all ages are invited to the celebration event on Saturday 19 November between 11am and 2pm. They will be able to explore the new play facilities, talk to the play area’s designers from Studio Hardie and take part in other play activities.

The accessible play area has been designed and created to inspire play and fun, encourage local people with children to spend more time enjoying the gardens and enhance their appeal as a destination to visit within the town.

References to Scarborough’s existing and lost architectural features, such as the Paxton Observation Tower, have been included in the design. Other structures take inspiration from architecture found throughout the gardens. Ramps, walkways and ladders link the tower and play structures together. 

Special Educational Needs (SEN) play is provided through the sand pit and quiet area, and natural play in the Adventure Trail. 

The Paxton tower and Victorian tower are accessible at the top level via the footpath, which has been designed specifically for wheelchair users to access the structures. 
In the middle section of the play area, the adventure trail has a double width accessible slide and easy route back to the path.

The lower section has wheelchair access round the sandpit with an accessible route crossing the staircase to the quiet area bench.

The new play area has been created as part of the £7.158m renovation of South Cliff Gardens, which is due to be completed in the next few months. The project has been made possible thanks to £4,665,700 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, with funding contributions from us and the South Cliff Community Group.

The project aims to preserve the gardens’ unique heritage and improve them in a way that will reconnect them with today’s residents and visitors, in the same way that the original gardens did more than one hundred years ago.

Gemma Alexander, community engagement officer, said:

"A priority for the renovation of South Cliff Gardens was to create a more accessible and attractive destination for people of all ages, abilities and interests to visit and enjoy.

"The fantastic new play area meets that brief in many ways and I am confident it will be a popular facility that will help breathe new life and adventure into the gardens.

"I encourage people to come along to our community celebration event to have fun, explore the play area and see for themselves the ongoing transformation of one of Scarborough's best loved green spaces." 

William Hardie, Studio Hardie director, said:

"The site at South Cliff Gardens has exciting play potential in open and treed areas. We have tried to capture and use the spirit of the site to create a unique play area, which provides an eye-catching draw to the gardens.

"Most importantly, we have created a play area that is fun, challenges all abilities and is accessible for all to experience and enjoy."