New ‘Jubilee Play Park’ at former Viking Ship site in Cliftonville now officially open

Cllr Kup does the honours with council leader, ward councillors and project staff Photo TDC

The playground at Ethelbert Crescent in Cliftonville officially reopens today (June 1) ahead of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

The play area has been refurbished with new, fully accessible equipment and surfacing, and will now be known as Jubilee Play Park in honour of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

The play equipment includes a castle play system, seesaw, spinner bowl, wheelchair carousel and swings which cater for all ages and abilities. New turf has been laid, the fence and litter bins have been repaired and the picnic table has been refurbished.

Photo TDC

The renovations were paid for with £169, 517 of grant funding from Kent County Council’s Community Park fund, with additional money spent on some other isle parks, and manufactured and installed by Kompan Ltd.

Thanet council says new equipment has been installed around the existing shrubs and trees to preserve the biodiversity of the area and additional planting will take place later in the year. This will include coastal plants suited to the windy, salty environment, for example hardy varieties of Tamarisk and Lamb’s Ear.

The former Viking Ship equipment was removed earlier this year despite public protest and attempted legal action by the Friends of Cliftonville Coastline.

The former Viking Ship Photo John Horton

FOCC said repairing the Robina wood ship and equipment already installed would leave more funding for other play areas, such as Dane and Tivoli sites, and would retain an ‘iconic’ play structure. The group raised a petition and held protests. They also sought legal action but the equipment was demolished at the end of March.

Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Youth Engagement at Thanet District Council, said:  “I’m absolutely delighted to see the brand new Jubilee Play Park open to the public, having passed its safety inspection last week. It looks fantastic and I know the positive impact it will have on children’s and families’ health and wellbeing.

Photo TDC

“I couldn’t think of a more fitting name for our new play park, which is being opened at the same time as we mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

“The more inclusive and accessible equipment will mean that many more children are able to access it, and we hope that local families and visitors enjoy the renovated play area over the bank holiday weekend and for years to come. I’d like to thank residents for their patience while this work has taken place.”

The playground was closed to the public on health and safety grounds in February although it has been accessed by youngsters over the past few weeks despite not being officially open.