Wicksteed Playgrounds make finals of Nancy Ovens Play Awards

A once-tired community recreation space in Bannerfield, Scotland has made the finals of the Nancy Ovens Play Awards 2015 thanks to a makeover by Wicksteed Playgrounds.

Philiphaugh Freedom Park. Image: Supplied
Philiphaugh Freedom Park. Image: Supplied

The Philiphaugh Freedom Park, named by one of the pupils from the adjacent community school, was opened in January this year and was the culmination of many months of whole community, school and local council consultation. Wicksteed was chosen through a tender process.

Angus Mackintosh from Wicksteed Playgrounds said the project was great to be involved with thanks to the many design and multi-use elements required.

"It was an honour to work with the local school, community and Scottish Borders Council on a play space that we believe will be one of the leading playgrounds in the UK."

Stuart Davidson Architecture was the main project designer and created the initial vision for the whole recreation space including landscaping and zoned areas. Wicksteed Playrounds then interpreted and brought the plans to life.

Funding came from a grant of £248,750 from the Big Lottery Fund's Community Spaces programme and also from Eildon Housing Association, Thornfield Trust, Eildon Area Forum and Selkirk Common Good Fund.

The Nancy Ovens awards, now in their 12th year, came about following Ovens' death in 2002. Ovens campaigned for over 40 years to improve play and youth work opportunities for children and young people across Scotland, the UK and internationally.

They award playgrounds that actively involve the community and local children in their design, provide a varied and flexible physical environment, allow for creative, social, active and quiet play, and are physically and culturally accessible.

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