Proposals for a new playground at Prospect Park

As part of our major investment across Reading’s parks, Prospect Park has been earmarked as a priority for improvements to play equipment, including the provision of equipment for children with disabilities. 

We are now proposing an exciting project to relocate the existing playground and create a brand new play area with free accessible equipment for children of all abilities.

Park users, local residents and Reading’s Accessible Play Task and Finish Group will be consulted on the type of equipment they want to see.

This project is just one aspect of the enhancement and investment being made within Prospect Park, including the major investment in creating a new multi-use community hub and activity centre in part of the pavilion building.

Plans for the playground have received planning approval and work is also anticipated to start in spring 2022.

Why are we investing in Prospect Park play area?

Prospect Park’s current play equipment has reached the end of its life. Additionally, the current safety surface and access points are not suitable for children with mobility issues.

During 2019 a healthy mature oak tree fell in the play area due to the ground underneath being eroded by an underground spring. The remaining mature oak was reduced as a precaution.

We decided to investigate a more suitable location for a new play area as part of Reading Borough Council’s playground improvement programme and to seek funding to carry out the improvements.

We carefully assessed a number of locations at Prospect Park and the proposed new location was chosen due to:

  • Close proximity to the existing pavilion, carpark and toilets
  • Proximity to proposed new Play service facilities;
  • Ease of access from tarmac paths;
  • Good ground conditions and no mature trees at risk;
  • Not impacting on sports and other activities in the park;
  • Not impacting on the visual sight lines of the Mansion House.

Location plans

We are proposing relocating the existing play area to the grass area opposite the pavilion car park:

map of prospect park showing where the new playground will be.

Project timeline

The planning application has been submitted and will go to Reading’s Planning Committee for approval in the summer. This will include examples of the types of inclusive playground equipment proposed which are suitable for children of all abilities.

If Planning permission is granted for the location and type of equipment, we will begin the process of procuring the playground equipment from approved suppliers.

The successful playground designs will go out to public consultation and these results will form part of the final selection of the winning design. This will also include consultation with Reading’s Accessible Play Task and Finish Group and assessments on value for money and technical competency of the supplier.

Subject to the Planning approval, procurement and extensive consultation process outlined above it is likely the works will start on site in March 2022.

The current play area will remain open for public use till the new play area is open for use.

The plan is to then remove the old play area and reinstate the area back to informal grass park land.