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Council / New accessible equipment installed at Lerwick playpark

Councillor Davie Sandison (right) testing out the new ability roundabout at King George V play area in Lerwick yesterday.

WORK on installing new accessible equipment in the King George V playpark in Lerwick has been now completed.

It is part of five-year improvement programme for playparks by Shetland Islands Council.

The new equipment features an ability roundabout, a ‘birds nest’ swing and an ability wheelchair swing – all of which can be used by anyone with mobility issues.

An accessible picnic bench has also been installed, which can be used by anyone in a wheelchair.

The items, located on the left at the entrance, are said to complement the existing play equipment and offer improved access for children of all abilities.

Hunter Jamieson with his mum Emily trying out the new ability wheelchair swing. Photo: SIC

Shetland Islands Council has been allocated a total of £362,000 of funding over five years from the Scottish Government, as part of a national funding package to improve play areas, which last year saw upgrades to Happyhansel play area in Walls.

Councillors previously agreed to use the funds towards creating more inclusive play areas in Shetland.

Staff in the council’s sport and leisure service have overseen the installation work and items of play equipment have been chosen with input from local inclusion charity Ability Shetland.

The new items of play equipment, plus installation, at King George V play area has cost around £61,000.

Future works are planned in other play areas across Shetland that will see equipment upgraded to more inclusive options.

Chair of the council’s education and families committee Davie Sandison said: “I’m really pleased to see the upgrade programme continue, with this new inclusive play equipment in Lerwick.

“These improvement works will continue in the coming years and I’m grateful for the continued involvement of Ability Shetland to help make our play spaces more accessible.”

Ability Shetland team leader Stephanie Bain said: “We are delighted to have worked alongside the SIC with getting more accessible play equipment installed in existing play parks across Shetland – and there is more to come over the next few years too.”

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