Kids make a Big Splash

Hundreds of children made a big splash when a brand new water play facility opened in Retford this week.

The £400k project, located in Kings’ Park, has been a year in the making and children from across the district finally had the chance to put the new splash pool through its paces on Thursday 4th August.

The project has been funded by Bassetlaw District Council and includes a grant of £43k from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd).

In the initial stages of the project, seven Retford Primary Schools helped to decide on the final design of the facility, and representatives of each school officially opened the splash pool along with Chairman of the Council, Cllr Jim Anderson.

The splash pool has been designed and built by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd, a specialist contractor based in Somerset. Working closely with Council staff to develop the initial ideas and layout, local school children had the final say as part of a consultation, in conjunction with Local Democracy Week, to select the type of equipment that has been installed in addition to a number of specific features.

This equipment allows children to engage in co-operative and interactive play and includes: 

  • A Pirate Ship
  • Water Cannons and Jets
  • Hanging buckets
  • A sand play area
  • Dams and Streams
  • Archimedes’ screw 

Chairman of the Council, Cllr Jim Anderson, said; “I’ve no doubt that this brilliant community facility will cause a big splash in Retford. I hope that children from across the district are excited to finally experience their brand new splash pool.

“There has been a lot of hard work from everyone involved to deliver this exciting new feature and I’d like to pay tribute to all the contractors, council officers and parks staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we are able to open the splash pool in time for the summer holidays.    

Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said; “This is a fantastic new facility for Retford’s award winning park and I hope that as many people as possible will be able to use it over the remainder of the summer.

“I’d like to thank all the children who took park in helping to choose the eventual design of the splash pool and hope that they recognise the suggestions they made in the play facility we have today. It was essential that we sought their views as they will be the people who ultimately use it the most. I also hope that this will help to attract even more people into Kings’ Park and take advantage of what is a fantastic space for people to enjoy.”

Chris Keech, Director at Kingcombe Aquacare, said; “We are delighted to have been involved with this project and take a lot of pride and satisfaction in seeing another project come to fruition. We can’t wait to see the children enjoying the fruits of our labour so let’s hope for a sunny August and September so that everyone can fully enjoy the use of this facility.”

WREN, who provided funding for the project, is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Cheryl Raynor, WREN’s grant manager for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, said: “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to children in the local area. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”

In addition to the play facility, a refreshments kiosk and toilet block, constructed by Robert Woodhead Ltd and procured through the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework, is due to open at a later date.

Steve Gribby, Construction Director at Robert Woodhead Ltd, said: “With the summer holidays in full swing, it’s great to have been able to play a part in creating this fantastic new area in Kings’ Park for local families. We hope the new amenities block will provide quality facilities and a better experience for all visitors.”

Paul Windle, regional business manager at empa, said: “empa works with local authorities to deliver construction projects that have lasting benefits for local communities. The significant improvements at Kings’ Park Splash Pool is just one example of a successful leisure scheme development that will help to improve the health and wellbeing of adults and children in and around Retford.”

As part of the opening celebrations Tailgate Theatre performed a ‘Pirates of the Black Pearl’ show and entertained the crowds throughout the day. 

Published: Thursday 04 August 2016