Community / New accessible equipment installed in westside playpark

Testing the new roundabout at Happyhansel – Hunter and his twin brother Magnus from Clousta. Photo: SIC

NEW playpark equipment accessible to children in wheelchairs has been installed at the Happyhansel play area in Walls.

It is the first playpark in Shetland to see an upgrade under the council’s five-year improvements programme.

The play area has recently had three items of play equipment installed: a ‘birds nest’ swing, and an ability roundabout and ability swing – both of which can be used by anyone in a wheelchair. The three items complement the existing play equipment and offer improved access for children of all abilities.

Shetland Islands Council has been allocated £362,000 of funding over five years from the Scottish Government as part of a national funding package to improve play areas.

Earlier this year councillors agreed to a programme of improvements in Shetland play areas, focused on promoting inclusion – with designs developed with input from local inclusion charity Ability Shetland.

The new items of play equipment, plus installation, at the Happyhansel play area has cost around £59,000. Future works are planned in other play areas that will see equipment upgraded to more inclusive options.


Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee chairman Davie Sandison said: “I’m really pleased to see the first upgrade taking place at Happyhansel play area.

“It’s great to have worked with Ability Shetland on this to help make our play spaces more accessible to more children. Our staff inspect and maintain a network of play areas in communities across Shetland and these improvement works will continue in the coming years.”

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