Published Monday, 25th March 2019

The exciting designs for Priory Park’s playground revamp have been unveiled. The popular play space will undergo a refurbishment project to replace its ageing and damaged equipment, starting in June.

Nautical theme

Artist impression of the Priory Park playground refurb designThe design retains the playground’s nautical theme and is packed with equipment offering excellent variety for children of all ages and abilities.

‘The Grey Lady’ ship, complete with sails and a ship’s wheel will continue to be the centrepiece. The new vessel features a tube slide, balance bars, ladders, a climbing net, hammocks and play panels all set over two decks.

The four-tower ‘Priory Castle’ climbing frame, designed for children aged 4 to 12 features two types of slide, a bridge, climbing net and a spiral ‘curly climber’. While the smaller two-tier ‘Priory Gatehouse’ includes a slide, climbing net, fireman’s pole and play panels aimed at 2 to 6 year olds.

A 25-metre double zip wire offers twice the fun, along with nine swings suitable for a variety of ages, two types of climbing nets, a multi-seesaw with back supports, a carousel roundabout suitable for children with disabilities, horse springers and spinners.

The bespoke scheme has been designed to suit the park’s unique identity and historic setting. The popular climbing wall and summer splash play will remain and the overall layout and planting will not change.

The playground will need to close for the duration of the works and will reopen once the improvements are complete in mid-July, in time for the summer holidays.

Exciting and challenging

Morag Williams, Head of Neighbourhood Operations, said: “Priory Park receives over three million visits each year from all over the borough and further afield. Its much-loved playground has provided countless hours of fun for children for nearly 12 years but it has taken its toll on the equipment, which is showing signs of deterioration.

“Taking on board what parents and carers told us when we surveyed them, the refurbishment keeps the essence of what’s there already but offers a broader range of equipment and has a greater sense of openness to make it easier for parents and carers to keep an eye on children of different ages using different parts of the playground. We’re also using materials that are easy to maintain and will last.

“We’re sorry for the inconvenience that the playground closure will cause while the work takes place. We hope parents, carers and children will love the new design, which will be exciting and challenging whilst offering countless opportunities for imaginative play to support children’s social, creative and physical development.”

The manufacture and installation will be carried out by Kompan Ltd, who were appointed following a tender process. Kompan is an extremely experienced contractor and carried out the refurb of the playground at the popular Meadowbank Recreation Ground in Dorking, which was frequently referenced in responses to our consultation.

The Priory Park playground refurbishment is part of the Council’s rolling programme of investment in its parks and greenspaces around the borough. It saw play areas in Chipstead and Kingswood upgraded last year, with plans being developed to upgrade Merstham Recreation Ground in future.

Priory Park playground opened in its current form on 19 October 2007 as part of the Council’s Priory Park restoration project, funded by a £4.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, commercial sponsorship and the Council.
Its nautical theme links with the history of Reigate Priory, which has strong maritime connections, with former residents including Lord High Admiral, Lord Charles Howard of Effingham and Admiral of the Fleet, Earl David Beatty.

More information

For more information about Priory Park see the Priory Park page.

For details of other playgrounds across the borough see the interactive map on our Parks and playgrounds page.