Work set to begin on new Clarence Park playground

An artist’s impression of how the new Clarence Park play area will look.

An artist’s impression of how the new Clarence Park play area will look. Some park trees not shown in the image will not be removed. - Credit: SADC

After months of delays, the green light has finally been given for work to begin on a new children's playground in Clarence Park.

The £222,000 attraction will include over 35 features including a rope bridge, musical bandstand, swings, cricket pavilion multi-play unit, slide and zip wire.

The play area was designed by specialist firm Kompan which was also the contractor for the new Verulamium Park play area.

Work on the project will begin on Monday March 8 with the closure of the existing playground. It was originally expected to be carried out at the start of this year but faced hold-ups due to the pandemic.

It is likely to take six to eight weeks to complete with the new play area launched in time for the busy summer months.

The existing playground was installed around 25 years ago and had reached the end of its life.

Park owner St Albans district council has worked on the project with the local community group Clarence Play, who helped organise fundraising efforts and were consulted about the concept designs.

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Cllr Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for leisure said: “It’s about time that this popular, flagship park had a new, first class playground that will be enjoyed by young children and their parents for many years to come.

“It is being built on the site of the old playground which will be closed while it is dismantled while the new one is built in its place. I’m sure park visitors will put up with this inconvenience for a few weeks while they wait for the new attraction to open.

“The new Verulamium play area has been a raging success and I have had nothing but positive feedback. I am confident this will be the case with the Clarence Park project, too.”

Louise Mann, chairman of Clarence Play, added: “We couldn't ask for a better start to 2021 then finally having a start date for the new playground.

"We're hoping that the new equipment gives the local children an opportunity to make up for lost time, stretch their legs and explore the new environment.

"We cannot thank the local community enough for their support, filling in surveys, giving feedback and much needed insights as well as their generosity in donating towards to total funding.

"We'd also like to thank the City Neighborhood Committee, Veolia and St Albans district council for the support in making this happen. The Clarence Play committee are very proud of what's been achieved and hope the end result is enjoyed for many years to come."

The council’s City Neighbourhoods Committee, which manages community assets in the unparished area of St Albans, provided £137,500 from its budget. Waste contractor Veolia provided a grant of £67,000 and the rest of the finance came from S106 payments, money contributed by property firms for community infrastructure.