Exhibition Park in Newcastle has already received £800,000 of Government cash through the Play Pathfinder scheme to develop the project. Plans are also being developed for submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund's (HLF) Parks for People programme to restore the wider parkland.
Exhibition Park received development funding from the HLF last summer to work up a stage 2 bid, which will be submitted in August.
The city council has appointed TGP Landscape Architects to develop the bid and director Chris Davis told HW surveying work was being carried out examining soils, the lake and horticultural species. "There are a number of elements, including fixing the nuts and bolts of the park, such as drainage," he said.
The Royal Jubilee Exhibition held at the park in 1887 attracted two million visitors and was followed in 1929 by the North East Coast Exhibition to mark industrial success in the region. More than four million people visited over 14 weeks. As part of the HLF bid, improvements will be made to the lake and conservation work will be carried out.
Meanwhile, Newcastle City Council's own design group is working on plans for the new adventure play park. Technical team leader Richard Barnes explained: "On the ground the two schemes have to be very much interlinked."
He added that the play area would be staffed and would allow children the opportunity to create their own towers and dens, under supervision.
"Outside that adventure playground area will be a play space running through existing woodland and planting," said Barnes. "If we are successful with the HLF bid, that must merge with the work done for Play Pathfinder."
TGP revamped its website as part of a marketing strategy for 2010 and Davis added: "The contract for Exhibition Park is a great start to the year and we believe it shows that we're moving in the right direction for growth."