Future of adventure playground in Kilburn hangs in the balance

Kilburn Grange Adventure Playground (pic: Polly Hancock)

Kilburn Grange Adventure Playground (pic: Polly Hancock) - Credit: Archant

The future of an award-winning adventure playground in Kilburn is hanging in the balance as residents expressed concern at suggestions to close the much-loved site.

Samia Belahcene and her daughter Manel Yasmine Abdelli (4) are regular users of the Kilburn Grange A

Samia Belahcene and her daughter Manel Yasmine Abdelli (4) are regular users of the Kilburn Grange Adventure Playground (Pic: Polly Hancock) - Credit: Archant

Camden Council has denied claims by James King, former Liberal Democrat councillor for Kilburn, who said the council is ‘quietly’ proposing to decommission Kilburn Grange Adventure Playground, off Messina Avenue.

Mr King said: “Camden Council is consulting on changes to Kilburn Grange park, including quietly proposing to decommission the adventure playground. This seems like a real waste, given it is an innovative and award-winning design, and is always busy with kids enjoying themselves.”

Parents were out with their children despite the rain this week, as schools were closed for half-term. Samia Belahcene uses the faciltity with her four-year-old daughter Manel Yasmine Andelli.

She said: “The park’s a good facility. It’s a very sociable place especially for those without gardens. It isn’t just a play space, it’s somewhere were people meet, get to know their neighbours and exchange ideas.”

Sarah White, whose three children regularly use the playground, added: “It’s a great place, if it wasn’t here it would be a shame. It’s a bit rickety and needs some attention. Maybe they are looking for an excuse to shut it down? The wooden bridge is broken, I don’t think we’d want health and safety down here but then kids need a bit of danger.”

Ines Thomas said it was used by children at Kingsgate Primary School and surrounding schools: “After school on a sunny day it’s very busy. Children love it because it’s original and unique.” The park was built in 2010, winning the RIBA international Children’s Making Space Award a year later and the Camden Design Awards in 2014.

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The theme of the park was to play “in and around trees”.

Cllr Meric Apak, cabinet member for sustainability and environment at Camden Council, said they were exploring options to replace the broken features. He said: “There are no plans to remove the adventure play area. The materials used to construct the area do however have a limited life. The master plan acknowledges that at some point in the future it will require extensive structural work and provides the opportunity to consider how this is best addressed in the current financial climate. We also identified a need for facilities aimed at young people and the master plan has explored opportunities for this within the park.”