CROWDS have gathered for the opening of a new Southampton play area following a £250,000 revamp.

Southampton City Council opened the rejuvenated play area at Mansel Park on Saturday with Millbrook, youngster Mabel Young cutting the ribbon.

The improvements aim to create a new and improved space for families to spend time together and to be active.

They include dedicated toddler and junior areas, a fitness trail and will benefit from a new shelter and seating area.

The centrepiece which was designed by local artist Andy Frost is “Docklands themed” and features a unique play structure in the shape of a container ship that converts into a robot, complete with climbing rings, monkey bars, and a climbing pole.

According to Matthew Lovell, who helped build the play area, the park is designed to be inclusive for everyone to use and even boasts a roundabout accessible for wheelchair users

The opening ceremony took place at 10am on Saturday and was attended by local residents of all ages as well as the MP for Southampton, Test, Alan Whitehouse.

Despite the rain, youngsters enjoyed themselves and were able to try out all the new equipment.

Alan said: “It’s a brilliant facility for everyone in Millbrook and Redbridge.

It’s not just a play area but a safe area everyone in the community can use.”

Millbrook grandmother, Eleanor Watson, said: “It’s a lovely big park.

“There is something to do for young and old children.

“It’s miles ahead of what it was before.

“It’s a great park because it is inclusive. I came down with my grandson who is blind and who is really enjoying it here.”

Isla Young, 33, added: “My daughter opened the park.

“This is the closest one to us. It’s great we have this type of facility.

“They put a lot of effort into it to make it inclusive.

“ It’s a really nice addition to the area.”


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