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The Play Strategy in action: Case studies

More than anything the Play Strategy is a practical tool to help create better play areas and youth facilities for children and young people across Cheshire West and Chester. Already by using the guidance in the strategy we have positive examples of what can be achieved.

Case studies

Water Tower Gardens, Chester

Cheshire West and Chester Council

A programme of play improvements at the site provided an opportunity to realise an additional neighbourhood equipped play area to provide better play value, in a manner that respected the historic importance of the site, especially due to the proximity to Chester Walls and the Water Tower. The aims of the work were:

  • To provide a destination play offer to link with the heritage, historical and conservation aspects of the Water Tower Gardens (it’s maritime history)
  • To provide addition landscaping (bee friendly plants in partnership with Chester and District Friends of the Earth)
  • Improved access to and from the Pavilion area in partnership with Vivo Care Services who have taken up residence, potential for working with their stakeholders
  • Linking Historical Education and interpretation within the new play areas and landscaping by involving local schools, the Garden Quarter Community, and local Scouts
  • To develop the gardens as a whole as a sustainable cycling hub, linking with the wider canal network, and enabling use of the gardens from a wider catchment area. 
  • To provide a family offer for visitors to Chester to complement the visitor attractions within Chester. 

The project was funded via a generous contribution from the local ward member via New Homes Bonus allocation together with other funds via the Council and Tesco Bags of Help Programme. The scheme was completed in August 2017.


Cheyney Road Natural Play Area, Chester

Cheshire West and Chester Council and Mersey Forest

The Council in partnership with the Mersey Forest and Garden Quarter Community Group considered options to create a natural play space at the Cheyney Road Pocket Park in Chester. This option was endorsed by the Play Strategy site review process and options were drawn together and a public consultation event took place in June 2016.

Funding was secured via the Local Ward Member and New Homes Bonus Monies, Council Funds and the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme.

There was unanimous approval from the community in support of the establishment of a Natural Play option at the site and the final scheme took account of the consultation responses received.

The Council has worked with the Garden Quarter Community as well as local schools and residents to provide a valuable community and educational resource.

The Natural Play Project was implemented during the spring of 2017 and opened to the public in July 2017.  Additional bulb planting and community engagement are planned for autumn 2017.



Pulford Play Area

Poulton and Pulford Parish Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council

Poulton and Pulford Parish Council has been working in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council to deliver a new play area on the site of a former underutilised open space. Joint working took place to plan, undertake a comprehensive programme of community consultation then seek financial support via the Parish Council, Local Community, CWAC and a significant grant from WREN. The scheme was completed in summer 2016. The play area provides a valued recreational asset for the local community.


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