Watch Sunderland primary school children's delight as their park designs set to become reality with new Seaburn play park

'This project really allowed them to use their creativity and imagination to work up their dream play park'
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Children at Seaburn Dene Primary School are "excited" and "can't wait" to see their play park designs become reality after the City Council gave the go ahead for work to commence on the new play area off Dykelands Road and Lowry Road.

With Seaburn Dene located as the closest primary school to the proposed site for the new play park, pupils at the school were challenged to come up with original ideas for the play apparatus and to design how they would like the play park to look.

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While the park's designers pledged to take onboard all the children's suggestions, the best design and competition winner went to brother and sister duo, Henry and Sofia Nixon.

Competition winner Henry Nixon alongside a computer generated image of the new play park.Credit: Sunderland City CouncilCompetition winner Henry Nixon alongside a computer generated image of the new play park.Credit: Sunderland City Council
Competition winner Henry Nixon alongside a computer generated image of the new play park.Credit: Sunderland City Council

The siblings' design included a zip wire, netted climbing area, and a lighthouse slide that would provide sea views from the top.

After seeing the computer generated images of the park, including significant elements of the Nixon's design, Henry, 7, said: "I was really happy when I found out we had won the competition and excited me and my sister's design was chosen.

"I included the lighthouse as you can see one at Seaburn and people will really enjoy the slide.

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"Our design also had a rainbow coloured swing which will attract people to go on it.

"I can't wait to go and see it once it's built. Children will be able to use it for years to come."

One of the children's play park designs.One of the children's play park designs.
One of the children's play park designs.

Year 6 pupil Isabelle Clish, 11, added: "It was really exciting to design the play park. My design had swings, a slide and a zip wire.

"It makes me feel happy that people will be able to use the park and I'm really looking forward to giving it a go."

Seaburn Dene Primary School pupils Henry Nixon, Isla Leigh-Bell, Erin Roper, Isabelle Clish and Nora Langfield were involved in the design process for the play park.Seaburn Dene Primary School pupils Henry Nixon, Isla Leigh-Bell, Erin Roper, Isabelle Clish and Nora Langfield were involved in the design process for the play park.
Seaburn Dene Primary School pupils Henry Nixon, Isla Leigh-Bell, Erin Roper, Isabelle Clish and Nora Langfield were involved in the design process for the play park.
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After being part of the design process, the children are hoping to be invited to the park's opening.

Erin Roper, 9, said: "Being part of the competition was really exciting and I can't wait to see it for real. Hopefully we will be the first to test it out."

Sunderland City Council’s planning committee approved plans for the new park on February 5, with construction expected to begin in mid-February ahead of its opening in early Summer.

Headteacher John Howe said: "We were delighted to be involved and give something back to our community. The children were particularly pleased to see that the designers have incorporated their ideas which they worked so hard on into the final plan.

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"The children have shown - and continue to do so - creativity and a real can-do attitude. What the children have seen through this process is that their dreams and ideas can transfer into the real world, which is a great message of hope for them."

CGI image of how new play park at Seaburn could look. Credit: Sunderland City CouncilCGI image of how new play park at Seaburn could look. Credit: Sunderland City Council
CGI image of how new play park at Seaburn could look. Credit: Sunderland City Council

The new park will include play mounds, sand pits and planted areas, as well as traditional play features such as swings, slides and roundabouts, tall towers, climbing boulders, bridges, and aerial walkways.

In-line with the Council’s ambition to ‘make the city’s playparks more inclusive’, it will also include bespoke play equipment for those with accessibility challenges, ensuring as many families as possible can enjoy the facilities.

Cllr Kevin Johnston, portfolio holder for dynamic city, said: “Involving the schoolchildren in influencing the design of the new play park has been great as it has really helped build excitement around the project and we can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when it comes to fruition.”

Henry's sister Sofhia has moved onto secondary school since taking part in the design competition.

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