9 February, 2022

Viking ship playground closed before major improvement works

Plans to replace and improve the play area equipment at Ethelbert Crescent in Cliftonville using Community Park funding from Kent County Council are underway. New equipment has been ordered and is currently being manufactured. Work is expected to start at the end of March and finish in late May.

Closed to public from Wednesday 9 February 2022
The Viking ship playground will be closed to the public on health and safety grounds before improvement works are due to start.

A November 2021 report from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) confirmed that the ship, some of the other play equipment and the play area’s surfacing is not compliant with the relevant health and safety standards. The equipment and the ship continues to deteriorate and the timber is decaying from the inside out.

In addition, our internal playground inspections report that we are unable to economically maintain the existing equipment to an acceptable standard. The council has a duty to ensure the health and safety of playground users which is why we have taken the decision to close the Viking ship playground, with immediate effect.

Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Youth Engagement at Thanet District Council said:
“Playgrounds have a hugely positive impact on children’s physical and mental health and I am delighted that we have been granted Community Parks funding from Kent County Council to provide a high-quality play area, with more inclusive and accessible equipment.

“WIthout this funding, the play area would remain closed as the council does not currently have the budget to replace it. This would be devastating for the local community. We expect the playground, complete with new equipment and safer surfacing, to re-open at the end of May.”

Contractors will be on site fencing off the playground from Wednesday 9 February and signage will be in place directing people to the nearest alternative playground in Dane Park; a ten minute walk away.

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