Work begins on new playground at Leeds Roundhay Park after mums’ campaign

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Work has begun to revamp a dilapidated playground at Roundhay Park after a successful fundraising campaign by a group of mums.

This week council workers will be ripping up the play equipment at the under sevens’ playground - marking an exciting milestone for the Roundhay Playground Committee.

Julia Wilson with Sara Dawson and her children Elodie and Isadora by the childrens playground in Roundhay Park, Leeds where work has started to replace the play equipment.  Picture Tony Johnson.

Julia Wilson with Sara Dawson and her children Elodie and Isadora by the childrens playground in Roundhay Park, Leeds where work has started to replace the play equipment. Picture Tony Johnson.

The group was formed by a five-strong group of mums in April to try and improve the “tired, broken” equipment at the play area near the Lakeside Cafe.

Their ‘Roundhay Park Playground Appeal’ captured the hearts of the local community and businesses who rallied to find ways to help boost the total, alongside grant funding. And in September – a mere five months after launching – the group reached the grand total of £159,000, smashing their original target of £100,000.

Sara Dawson, one of the mums on the committee - a sub-committee of Friends of Roundhay Park, said: “We are so excited that the playground is going to be removed. We have all worked so hard over the last six months to get to this point.

“It’s so gratifying seeing the ground all broken and the old playground going. We are really happy and the kids are obviously all very excited.”

Workers rip out the old play equipment in  the childrens playground in Roundhay Park, Leeds to be replaced with new.  Picture Tony Johnson.

Workers rip out the old play equipment in the childrens playground in Roundhay Park, Leeds to be replaced with new. Picture Tony Johnson.

The group hopes to have a soft opening on December 15, with an official ribbon-cutting on January 18 next year. But Sara stressed this could change: “That’s what we’re working towards, but we don’t know how long it’s going to take.”

While the exact nature of the new equipment is being kept under wraps, the playground will have personalised animal badges on display, paid for by donations from local families.

The new play equipment is being supplied by Kompan, which match-funded £50,000 to campaign.