Detailed designs for a new adventure playground in Manchester city centre have been revealed - with an 18m (60ft) long slide across the River Medlock as its centre-piece.
The Mayfield Play Yard also features crawl tunnels, elevated rope bridges, eight slides and wheelchair-accessible play equipment, and the playpark will cater for a wide range of ages and abilities.
The centrepiece slide has clear windows so youngsters can see the view and wave to pals as they shoot across the river.
There will also be a 60-degree drop speed slide, racing slides and a 20ft spiral slide.
And there will be plenty of green space too, with trim trails, stepping posts and balance beams among the greenery.
It has been designed by regeneration specialist U+I on behalf of the Mayfield Partnership, landscape architects Studio Egret West (SEW) and Massey & Harris, an independent play equipment specialist based in Greater Manchester.
The overall park, near Piccadilly station, is set to be about three times the size of Piccadilly Gardens.
When will it all happen?
The park is due to be completed this autumn and is being developed as part of a major regeneration scheme in the area.
Massey & Harris is currently building the play area at its workshop in Stockport before it is transported and installed at Mayfield. The firm previously installed play equipment at Heaton Park.
Huw Pritchard, lead designer at Massey & Harris, said: “Mayfield is a unique development which we are incredibly proud to be a part of. As a local company, which has been based in Stockport for more than 70 years, we know first-hand how important green space is to Manchester’s growing population.
“We were aware of the project from its very early stages and thought how fantastic it would be to be involved, so to actually work on it is incredible. It’s also an added bonus that we are only down the road, so we’ve been able to share our knowledge of the area to benefit the park and travel easily to and from site.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Manchester and we can’t wait to see people enjoying Mayfield Park in all its glory when it opens.”
‘It’s for all ages and abilities’
Max Aughton, project landscape architect at Studio Egret West, said: “Our design concept was for an industrial-inspired play area within nature that will help to tell the story of Mayfield’s amazing history. We’ve chosen a simple palette of materials including steel and reclaimed brick to create an industrial feel which also gives the trees and planting a contrasting backdrop.
“The chimney towers resonate with historic skylines of Manchester and Mayfield. Together these features will create a sense that our young visitors are exploring an abandoned landscape where nature has taken over.
“This is a park which people will visit again and again and have different experiences each time they come as seasons change. For children especially, as their confidence grows so too will their use of the play area which features different heights and levels for all ages. The towers will sit amongst the canopies of some of the largest trees to be planted at Mayfield and this will give the children a real sense of playing within nature.
“Accessibility and inclusivity are at the heart of the design and we have ensured the entirety of the park and the majority of play area equipment is wheelchair friendly. We can’t wait to see the play area in action.”
Coun Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, added: “Mayfield Park is going to be a major new green public space for Manchester. As a city which values our young people it’s perfect that it will include a play facility as fun and active as this as part of what it has to offer.
“We can’t wait to welcome Manchester people to this new attraction.”