Queen’s Park welcomes new safety, play and trail equipment

Published Monday 17 July 2023 at 22:23

Significant improvements to a children’s play area and cycle trail have been unveiled in Queen’s Park in Audley, featuring a range of measures to improve safety and usability.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has invested over £220,000 from the Safer Streets Fund in improvements to this Blackburn park.

Work has taken place over the last 10 months, and the new facilities are ready in time for local residents and other Queen’s Park visitors to enjoy over summer.

The new cycle trail provides a safe area for people of all ages to cycle in safety.

The children’s play area has been completely redeveloped, with 25 new pieces of play equipment, lighting and security to include CCTV and ‘designing out’ crime features by removing opportunities for criminals that may be provided inadvertently by the built environment.

A new cricket wicket area has also been installed beside the play area.

Coun Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Prevention, Neighbourhoods and Wellbeing, said:

This is great news for users of Queen’s Park. The funding available to us through the Safer Streets Fund has been used wisely to create a safe and welcoming park for all, and to provide a brand new secure facility to help local residents develop a love of cycling, as well as a remodelled, inclusive playground.

Engagement work with residents in this area, told us that one of the barriers to getting into cycling was lack of a local safe facility to use. It’s great that Queen’s Park now has its own facility that residents feel safe to have their children use and I’m sure it will be welcomed by families looking for free and low cost days out.

Amy Scholfield adn daughter_Queens Park

Park-goer Amy Schofield and her daughter, Amara, age two, are certainly welcoming the new playground:

This is the first time we’ve used the new facilities. They’re fantastic.

Over summer the Re:fresh team will be offering ‘Learn to Ride’ bike sessions for all the family at Queen’s Park’s new cycle trail.

Biker Tots is a weekly balance bike class for under 4s, running in Queen’s Park every Friday from 10.15am to 11.15am for just 50p. Parents don’t need to book these in advance – just turn up with your BwD Leisure Card.

Grace Driscoll, parent to two year old Lennox, has been attending the Queen’s Park Biker Tots session regularly for the last few months. She said:

Lennox looks forward to the biking session every week and really enjoys it. The session is also great value. Queen’s Park is a nice, safe venue and the track is in an ideal location as we like to feed the ducks afterwards.

Adult ‘Learn to Ride’ sessions will also be available at Queen’s Park from mid-July and can be booked online.

The Safer Streets money has funded the installation of more lighting around the park, and in the coming week’s security will be boosted further with a state-of-the-art CCTV network much of which is already operational in addition to the physical improvements.

Safer Streets funding has also been invested in Dickens Street Park in Audley, to uplift the existing Multi-Use Games Area and Play Area with additional new lighting.

Over recent years the Council has also invested in play areas and parks across the borough including:
• £100,000 new of Blacksnape Play Area in Darwen funded from a nearby new homes development.

• A similar scheme at Corporation Park has also proven to be very popular.

• £1.2m transformation of the Junction 4 skate park in Darwen, boasting a world-class street skate park, a word-class BMX freestyle park and world-class dirt jumps.

• Currently investment of £350,000 at Witton Park will see a large activity play area on the current site of The Wits and a full re-vamp of the younger children’s playground. This is complemented by the opening of the brand new Go Ape high-ropes experiences, Treetop Adventure and Treetop Adventure Plus this weekend.

• And, just last week, a new outdoor area including a children’s play section opened in Blackburn’s Cathedral Square.

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