Two Bedford playgrounds at Commercial Road and Priory Country Park get major revamp

Don’t worry – the tractor is still there
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Two playgrounds in Bedford’s Commercial Road and Priory Country Park have got an upgrade.

And don’t worry, the Commercial Road playground – also known as Sovereign’s Quay – still as its iconic tractor.

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The Commercial Road playground, complete with tractorThe Commercial Road playground, complete with tractor
The Commercial Road playground, complete with tractor

And it now also features a farmyard theme. The loose fill surfacing has been replaced with a more user-friendly alternative.

The Priory Country Park playground features a range of new and improved equipment that embodies the theme of nature and caters to a wider range of ages and abilities.

And in case you were worried, the popular zip line remains a central fixture.

Councillor Jim Weir, cabinet member for environment, said: "Our objective with these playground refurbishments is to establish environments where families can nurture their children's physical activity, foster imaginative thinking and facilitate educational play. The completion of the Commercial Road and Priory Country Park playground refurbishments marks a significant achievement in our ongoing commitment to crafting inclusive and captivating community spaces.”

The refurbishment projects are part of the larger £1.5 million Riverside for All initiative, which aims to enhance recreational spaces, improve footpaths, and contribute to the overall revitalisation of the riverside.

The Commercial Road Playground and Priority Country Park refurbishments are just two parts of the Riverside for All project, which also included the new fitness area at Mill Meadows, footpath improvements at St Mary’s Gardens and along the Embankment, refurbishment of viewing platforms around Longholme Lake, bulb planting and refurbishment of the Castle Mound Mosaic.

Councillor Henry Vann, who launched the Riverside for All programme as the former Town Centres and Planning Portfolio Holder, said “It is brilliant to see these exciting playground projects being completed; the projects simply would not have happened without the investment and vision of the previous administration – as well as their careful financial management.

“The playgrounds look great and they will help bring joy to children and young people for years to come. The refurbishments form part of an investment we put in to improve outdoor spaces and footpaths, make the riverside safer and more accessible and enhance our beautiful Riverside area for everyone – including but not limited to the Embankment.

"I strongly encourage visitors and residents to get down and see the other improvements made to St Mary’s Gardens, the Castle Mound mosaic and the new outdoor exercise space at Mill Meadows to name just a few of our improvements.”