Playground revamps on their way

10 Jan 2018

The ongoing overhaul of Newcastle's playgrounds is set to continue in 2018, with work set to begin in March on $150,000 revamps of two parkland locations.

Newcastle City Council will build a new playground at Smith Park in Hamilton North, replacing a much smaller play area.

Designed following consultation with the local community, the playground will inspire a fresh sense of adventure with two slides, climbing structures, twin swings and a "nest swing" designed to accommodate several riders at once.

A new picnic area will also be built to provide shade to families.

Work will begin in April on a new playground at Grahame Park in Carrington where locals have also helped come up with the most appropriate design.

"They really liked what we did last year at Centennial Park in Cooks Hill, so we've included a lot of timber and steel to create that same aesthetic," the Lord Mayor said.

A play fort, double slides and a picnic shelter with an electric barbecue are among the features of the planned site.

The scheduled works follow the opening last month of new $150,000 playgrounds in Tourle St Reserve, Mayfield West, and Wallsend Park, Wallsend, as well as recent upgrades in Centennial Park, Cooks Hill, Tarro Reserve, Tarro and Willow Close Reserve, Elermore Vale.

Work is expected to be completed in mid-2018 on a $1.5million adventure playground in Richley Reserve at Blackbutt Reserve, including various play areas, shelters and new access paths.

The Lord Mayor said each of the new sites reflected a gradual shift away from the sterile playgrounds of the early 2000s.

"Kids love that sense of adventure these new playgrounds inspire," she said.

"Safety is always a top priority, but it's about finding an appropriate balance between keeping children safe and letting them have fun and push their limits a little bit."

Up to five of Newcastle's 119 playgrounds are included annually in Council's asset renewal works program, with the next round to be announced in the new financial year.

Playgrounds earmarked for an overhaul are selected and prioritised from a biennial independent audit that assesses their existing condition against current safety standards and guidelines.