Posted on: Friday 10 February 2023
Work will begin next week to transform two children's parks into inclusive play areas.
New play equipment is to be installed in Pontypool Park and Cwmbran Boating Lake to make the play areas more suitable for those with special needs including sensory impairments.
Work will begin on Pontypool Park next week and the design will include outdoor musical instruments, sensory play panels including mirror panels and playground markings.
Construction work will begin at Cwmbran Boating Lake early March and will include additional swings, an accessible seesaw, accessible roundabout, and sensory panels.
The play area in Pontypool Park will be closed for around eight weeks while the work is carried out whilst access to certain parts of the Boating Lake will be restricted during the construction period.
Children and staff at Crownbridge School, in Cwmbran, TOGS Children’s Centre, in New Inn, and specialists in autism helped to design the parks.
Levi Barnby, Pupil Governor, Crownbridge School, said: “We went to the parks and helped choose what the park needed to make them more accessible to everyone. It was very exciting. We can’t wait to visit them.”
A total of £330,000 will be invested in the play areas thanks to Torfaen Council's Covid Recovery Fund and includes the cost of installing sustainable drainage systems at the site to reduce flooding.
Pontypool Community Council has contributed around £5,000 towards the cost of outdoor musical instruments in Pontypool Park, as well as a new accessible roundabout which was installed last year.
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “Having inclusive play parks in the borough is so important for the health and well-being of children, and we hope that in the future more of our parks will have inclusive equipment.
“Sensory play areas are particularly beneficial to children who have trouble with movement, vision and feel.
“This new play equipment will mean that all children can play in the same park at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not, play is play, and I look forward to seeing the impact this inclusive play equipment will have on all children and their families.”