API Latest Newshttp://www.api-play.orgAPI Latest NewsSun, 22 Apr 2018 10:24:47 GMTPlaydale Playgrounds’ North West based MD attends Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Londonhttp://www.api-play.org/playdale-playgrounds-nw-based-md-attends-commonwealth-heads-of-government-meeting-in-london<p>As a Commonwealth First Export Champion, Cumbria based outdoor playground equipment manufacturer&rsquo;s MD takes part in CHOGM 2018.<br /> <br /> Haverthwaite, Cumbria, UK &ndash; 18th April 2018 &ndash; Playdale Playgrounds&rsquo; Managing Director Barry Leahey is in London this week attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM). </p> <p><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/BL%20and%20royal%20guard%20social.jpg" style="width: 800px; height: 420px;" class="img-responsive img-rounded center-block" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<strong>Barry Leahey, Playdale&rsquo;s Managing Director attends the &lsquo;Pitch at Palace&rsquo; event at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London this week&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>As one of the leading providers of children&rsquo;s outdoor playground equipment Playdale&rsquo;s export business already spans almost 50 countries worldwide. Amongst their many awards and accolades, Playdale has also recently been given the status of Commonwealth First Export Champion.</p> <p>CHOGM brings together representatives and leaders from the worlds of business, civil society and government to address the shared global challenges Commonwealth countries face. Actions are then formed and agreed on, to create a better future for all members. Barry makes up an impressive Commonwealth Business Forum delegation of 800 senior business leaders and Heads of Government from across our Commonwealth.<br /> <br /> Barry told us, <em>&ldquo;As the UK starts to realign for a post Brexit era, I believe CHOGM is a crucial moment for the continued strengthening of our relationship with the Commonwealth. I hope for increased support for intra-Commonwealth trade, to help maximise opportunities for growth for all members. The &lsquo;Commonwealth Advantage&rsquo; allows businesses like Playdale to experience success in Commonwealth markets, which in turn helps to grow intra-Commonwealth trade and the UK economy.&rdquo; <br /> </em><br /> <em>&ldquo;Due to the similar trading conditions and laws, we realised, early on in our export journey, the benefits of exporting to distributors in Commonwealth countries. This has helped us secure the future of our business, but has also given boosts to our local UK supply chain. I encourage any business not yet exporting, to work with the DIT and explore their exporting potential&rdquo;</em>.<br /> <br /> Highlights from the week include talks from many inspirational figures including Prime Minister Theresa May, Secretary of State Liam Fox, Prince William, Bill Gates and the Duke of York about delivering a prosperous Commonwealth for all and the Commonwealth leading the world in catalysing growth and championing free and fairer trade. There was particular focus on the rising business talent that must be supported and given opportunities; 2.4 billion people live in the Commonwealth, 60% of whom will be under 30 by 2020.<br /> <br /> Barry spoke at the SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Trade Forum - another inspirational session where the buoyant UK export market is proven to be even more successful to UK business when trading with Commonwealth countries &ndash; &lsquo;The Commonwealth Advantage&rsquo;. It is estimated to be 19% cheaper to do business in Commonwealth countries.<br /> <br /> This was then followed by a banquet at London&rsquo;s Guildhall with the City of London Lord Mayor and 650 fellow guests including the South African President, Philip Hammond and Bill Gates amongst the guests.<br /> <br /> Learn more about Playdale visit: <a href="http://www.playdale.co.uk ">www.playdale.co.uk&nbsp;</a><br /> <br /> </p>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/playdale-playgrounds-nw-based-md-attends-commonwealth-heads-of-government-meeting-in-londonWin up to £50K matched funding for your dream playground or fitness projecthttp://www.api-play.org/win-up-to-50K-matched-funding-for-your-dream-playground-or-fitness-projectMake dreams come true for your community this year! KOMPAN have just launched their annual competition and you could be one of three winners of an incredible 100% matched funding, up to the value of &pound;50,000 for your new play, sport or fitness project.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Kompan_comp1.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded" /><br /> <br /> Entering the competition easy, follow the link below and tell us about your dream playground, or sport and fitness area in 200 words. What would make a difference to your community? What kind of improvements would make the ultimate playground or fitness area? We are looking for entries that ooze creativity, so get your thinking hat on and use your imagination! <br /> <br /> Not only could you be in for a chance of winning 100% matched funding, all competition entries that meet the entry criteria receive 25% off KOMPAN kit on orders placed before December 2018.<br /> <br /> See website for full competition details and entry requirements: <a href="http://contact.kompan.co.uk/funding-competition/ ">http://contact.kompan.co.uk/funding-competition/ </a> <br /> <br /> Reach Playground Committee let loose their lyrical side landing them second place in KOMPAN&rsquo;s 2017 matched funding competition and have been enjoying their new playground and fitness area for several weeks. Cath Tayleur, head of Reach Playground Committee says <em>&ldquo;We have an amazing facility with a much longed for zip-wire and a range of exciting equipment that will cater for all ages and abilities. We are hugely grateful to our funders for making this possible.&rdquo;</em><br /> <br /> Could you be one of the three winners of KOMPAN&rsquo;s 2018 competition? Go to <a href="http://contact.kompan.co.uk/funding-competition/ ">http://contact.kompan.co.uk/funding-competition/ </a> <br /> <br /> <strong>Goodluck!</strong><br /> <br /> Take a look at what last years winners have to say&nbsp;<a href="https://youtu.be/yZwoZ7aMuvY ">https://youtu.be/yZwoZ7aMuvY&nbsp;</a><br />Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/win-up-to-50K-matched-funding-for-your-dream-playground-or-fitness-projecteibe Unveils New Websitehttp://www.api-play.org/eibe-unveils-new-website<p>&nbsp;<img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/New%20Website%201117x.jpg" /></p> <p>eibe Play is delighted to reveal its newly designed Website &ndash; <a href="http://www.eibe.co.uk">www.eibe.co.uk</a><br /> <br /> With a host of new features, clearer navigation and even more useful information, the eibe website is the place to go for perfect play products.<br /> <br /> Browse a host of inventive ranges, read about our promises and guarantees and see for yourself some of our innovative playgrounds that we have designed over the years.<br /> <br /> From traditional equipment such as swings and slides to bespoke themed ships and castles, eibe Play has a solution for everyone. <br /> <br /> Feel free to call us on 01483 813834 should you have any thoughts on the new site, or questions about a specific product.<br /> <br /> Happy browsing!<br /> <br /> Learn more about eibe Play visit:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.eibe.co.uk">www.eibe.co.uk</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.eibe.co.uk"></a><strong>Date:</strong> 03 April 2018<br /> <br /> </p>Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/eibe-unveils-new-websiteMP calls for report into childhood obesity and the alarming decline in UK playgroundshttp://www.api-play.org/mp-calls-for-report-into-alarming-decline-in-uk-playgrounds<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>PRESS RELEASE</strong><br /> <strong>Date:</strong> 20 March 2018&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East, will call for research into the state of UK play provision in a debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday.<br /> <br /> Chairman of the Association of Play Industries, Mark Hardy, says: <em>&ldquo;API research uncovered a steep decline in playgrounds across England. Our report - Nowhere To Play - found that 448 playgrounds are closed or closing. With no dedicated funding for playgrounds from central government or third-sector grants, play provision falls to local authorities whose budgets are squeezed.</em><br /> <br /> <em>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re delighted that Mr Leslie will call upon the Ministry of Housing, Communities &amp; Local Government to commission a thorough report into the state of play facilities and open spaces throughout the UK.&rdquo; </em><br /> <br /> Chris Leslie, MP, says: <em>&ldquo;With rising levels of childhood obesity and a deepening crisis in children&rsquo;s mental health, research is urgently needed into the correlation between these issues and the deprivation experienced in some areas where free play opportunities are lacking. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s now time to drive forward a renaissance in children&rsquo;s play across the country so that the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor play are opened up to children from all backgrounds. <br /> </em><br /> <em>&ldquo;I will be asking the government for a clear show of support for play and the benefits it brings to children, families and communities. A relatively modest investment in playground provision now will help reverse the downward trend. </em> <br /> <br /> <em>&ldquo;The worsening childhood obesity crisis means that the provision of spaces for children to play and get active has to take priority. Children with a playground within 1km of their home are five times more likely to be of a healthy weight. </em><br /> <br /> <em>&ldquo;For many children living in deprived areas - who are more than twice as likely to be obese than those in more affluent areas - playgrounds are often their only chance to play outdoors. </em><br /> <br /> <em>&ldquo;We would expect to find a higher incidence of childhood obesity in deprived areas where free play opportunities are limited. Research into the prevalence of obesity and other health issues in certain geographic areas could examine these correlations and ultimately guide decision-making.</em><br /> <em><br /> &ldquo;Play is fundamental to children&rsquo;s wellbeing. If play is restricted there are likely to be profound effects upon their physical and mental health, both now and in the future. Although not a silver bullet, a well-maintained community play area fosters social cohesion, inspires children to get active and can transform a community.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em></em><strong>--------------- Ends ----------------</strong></p> <p><strong>EDITORS NOTES</strong><br /> A Freedom of Information Act request to all councils, carried out by the Association of Play Industries, revealed the following number of playground closures:</p> <ul> <li>2014/15: 112</li> <li>2015/16: 102</li> </ul> <p>The request also asked for future plans to close playgrounds and revealed the following number of playgrounds earmarked for closure:</p> <ul> <li>2016/17: 80</li> <li>2017/18: 103</li> <li>2018/19: 51</li> </ul> <p>Figures for 2017/18 and 2018/19 do not include information from over a third of councils questioned as they had yet to make plans for this time. <br /> <br /> The full report &lsquo;Nowhere to Play&rsquo; available here <a href="http://www.api-play.org/news/nowhere2play-campaign">http://www.api-play.org/news/nowhere2play-campaign</a></p> <p><strong>Key Contacts:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong></strong>Mark Hardy, Chairman, Association of Play Industries, e: <a href="mailto:mark.hardy@api-play.org ">mark.hardy@api-play.org </a> <br /> m: 07933 686222</li> <li>Chris Leslie MP e: <a href="mailto:chris.leslie@parliament.uk">chris.leslie@parliament.uk</a> t: 0207 219 2688</li> <li>Mary Lubrano, Director of Strategy and Communications, FSPA, e: <a href="mailto:mary@sportsandplay.com ">mary@sportsandplay.com</a> m: 07999 550452 </li> <li>Deborah Holt, Association Manager Association of Play Industries, <br /> e: <a href="mailto:deborah.holt@api-play.org">deborah.holt@api-play.org</a> m: 07969 533915</li> </ul> <p>The Association of Play Industries (API) <a href="http://www.api-play.org">www.api-play.org</a> is the lead trade body within the play sector and campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition for play. Its members are leading manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. Founded in 1984, the API currently has 65 members.&nbsp;</p> <p>Follow us on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/apiplay">@apiplay</a> #Nowhere2play<br /> <br /> The API operates under the umbrella of the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA), the national trade body responsible for representing 13 Associations in the UK&rsquo;s sport and play industries. <a href="http://www.sportsandplay.com ">www.sportsandplay.com </a> <br /> <br /> </p>Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/mp-calls-for-report-into-alarming-decline-in-uk-playgroundsGame Changer Performance and Playforce team up to offer Primary Schools Athletic Development Dayshttp://www.api-play.org/game-changer-performance-and-playforce-team-up-to-offer-primary-schools-atheletic-development-days<p>Athletic Development Days are a fun way to measure pupil&rsquo;s athletic abilities and introduce fun and engaging long term athletic development programmes (LTAD) to schools.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Brand%20new%20Athletic%20Development%20Days%20image%202.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded center-block" /><span class="img-responsive img-rounded">​</span></p> <p>As if this new partnership wasn't exciting enough, as a 20th anniversary year offer, any school who works with Playforce in 2018 will be able to access one of these days free of charge*. During the day GCP coaches will deliver a range of challenges and fun sessions to the whole school, measure performance and hold a briefing session with school staff. <br /> <br /> <strong>The sessions will enable schools to:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong></strong>Measure the athletic abilities of pupils</li> <li>Engage children of all abilities in fun fitness sessions</li> <li>Build pupil&rsquo;s confidence to try new activities and engage in a variety of sports</li> <li>Highlight areas to include in schools&rsquo; health and wellbeing strategy</li> <li>Help to identify where your PE and Sport Premium could be used for maximum impact</li> <li>Provide a benchmark measurement from which to evidence improvement</li> <li>Identify sporting talent</li> </ul> <p>Founded in 2015 by Director Jake Keeling, GCP have established themselves as one of the UK&rsquo;s leading sports performance companies. Having already agreed partnerships around the UK with a range of Universities, Colleges, Non-Elite Teams and more recently the Professional Footballers Association at St Georges Park, the opportunity to work in partnership with Playforce on the delivery of athletic development days for their partner schools was something the company jumped at the chance to get involved with.</p> <p>Jake said &ldquo;Teaming up with Playforce is hugely exciting for us. We&rsquo;ve been exploring the primary school market for the past 12 months by working with a select group of primary schools across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Our Physical Performance Coaches have been running specialist athletic development testing days where we were able to get some great data on the pupils by capturing their physical literacy scores. The days are great fun! Pupils and teachers really engaged with the challenges and assessments. Our coaches have also really enjoyed working with a broad range of children within schools we have been working with. Following the testing days our Coaches have then been delivering blocks of sessions from our long term athletic development syllabus within PE lessons and also running after school physical performance clubs for schools. This service is very different to the norm that is delivered in schools across the UK via traditional sports specific coaching companies and we feel very passionately that our programmes can really help pupils to improve their physical literacy, fundamental movement skills and overall health &amp; athletiscm.</p> <p>Emily Northin is Director of Marketing for Playforce, the UK&rsquo;s leading supplier of outdoor play and sports facilities to schools and nurseries. Emily said, &ldquo;<em>We are thrilled to be working alongside GCP to offer this fantastic Athletic Development service to Playforce customers. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, we wanted to offer our customers a little something extra to underline our commitment to provide children with the very best opportunities to get fit and active from an early age. Our partnership also allows us to provide a unique offer to schools across the UK, not only developing outstanding outdoor facilities for sport and play, but also providing the specialist guidance through GCP to make sure that pupils get the most sustainable impact from the school&rsquo;s investment.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Kevin Paxton, GCP Physical Performance Consultant worked with Playforce to help shape the partnership.</p> <p>Kevin said <em>&ldquo;Shaping this programme with Playforce has been great. From the get go Playforce understood our point of difference from sports specific coaching companies that also work with schools. For us this was key as it also therefore meant they really saw it as a great opportunity to introduce a new type of programme into schools. At GCP we deliver fun, challenging and engaging long term athletic development programmes for children. The team at GCP are really looking forward to working with Playforce&rsquo;s partner schools around the UK. Excitingly we are also going to be working with the team at Playforce to help design the next generation of equipment for schools. Our hopes are that through this partnership we can really help to have a great impact on the primary school children&rsquo;s health &amp; fitness around the UK.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>LAUNCHED TUESDAY 27TH FEBRUARY 2018.</p> <p>For more information please visit <a href="http://www.playforce.co.uk/gcp">www.playforce.co.uk/gcp</a> or call Playforce on 01225 792660.<br /> *Special offer is subject to some terms and conditions, which can be seen at <a href="http://www.playforce.co.uk/gcp ">www.playforce.co.uk/gcp </a> <br /> <br /> <strong>Date: </strong>05 March 2018</p>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/game-changer-performance-and-playforce-team-up-to-offer-primary-schools-atheletic-development-dayseibe’s Leisure Pleasurehttp://www.api-play.org/eibes-leisure-pleasure<p>Throughout 2017, eibe Play worked with many different organisations, installing play areas in local parks, schools and attractions across the whole of the UK.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.api-play.org/upload/public/images/news/Hinckley%20(1).jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 198px; margin-top: 2px; margin-bottom: 2px; margin-left: 10px;" class="img-responsive img-rounded pull-right" />But we never limit ourselves to just these markets; we have effected successful projects in garden centres, private estates and even prisons!</p> <p>One of our more unusual locations for a new playspace last year was at a leisure centre courtesy of Hinckley and Bosworth District Council. Wanting to theme a playground around the town&rsquo;s history, eibe provided an array of great looking robinia equipment, making Hinckley Leisure Centre an even more attractive family destination.</p> <p>Working with architects, Ian Stemp Landscape Associates on the &pound;50,000 scheme, eibe unveiled a new middle-ages themed play area, complete with castle and small village with &lsquo;grazing sheep&rsquo;. Other products include a Tarzan Swing, Mancha Play Unit, Lago Lake House and Ivo Explorer Island.</p> <p>Learn more about eibe Play at <a href="www.eibe.co.uk">www.eibe.co.uk</a></p> <p><a href="www.eibe.co.uk"></a><strong>Date: </strong>22.02.2018<br /> <br /> </p>Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/eibes-leisure-pleasureCase Study - Sprouts Play Barn / Millets Farm, Oxfordshirehttp://www.api-play.org/case-study-sprouts-play-barn-millets-farm-oxfordshire-by-soft-brick<p>We're at the beginning of 2018 and we have lots of new and exciting Soft Brick builds to shout about, starting with one completed at the end of 2017; Millets Farm in Oxfordshire.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/SoftBrick-Millets-web.jpg" style="margin-top: 2px; margin-bottom: 2px; margin-left: 10px;" class="img-responsive img-rounded pull-right" />The team at Millets Farm got in touch with Soft Brick in order to design a bespoke proposal for an indoor soft play area that was "something quite different to the run-of-the-mill soft play". This initial brief went out to various UK based soft play manufacturers and we're proud to say Soft Brick were the selected manufacturer to see the project through to completion.<br /> <br /> As part of the tender like selection process, the design team at Soft Brick had produced an initial conceptual design based on a generic +10,000 sqft building. Upon being awarded the contract our team of designers got to work on the real thing - a purpose built building of a similar size, tall enough to incorporate a 4-tier soft play structure at around 8m in height. The new construction was to be a steel framed industrial style building requiring formal planning permission to achieve the D2 status - the requirement for indoor play. Included in the space was a mezzanine level, which provided a raised area for a sports court and freed up ground floor space for additional seating. The underside of the mezzanine level featured a kitchen / servery area to ensure that we could maximise the space for play.<br /> <br /> The existing facilities at Millets Farm include restaurant(s), cafe, falconry, large maize maze, farm shop, garden centre, trout lake, petting zoo, conference centre and woodland area (Phoebe Woods). With all those offerings already, it was decided that the play facility was to have its own dedicated car park area, with a new road being added to facilitate easier access.<br /> <br /> The team at Millets had mentioned a few key elements the final proposal was to include:<br /> <br /> High quality - first and foremost was quality, right down to the materials and manufacture in the construction, but also the play value of the features included in the design.<br /> <br /> <strong>Babies &amp; Toddlers</strong> - the research carried out by Millets highlighted the need for a large baby / toddler offering, with children 18 months and younger being a key age group for customers during the week.<br /> <br /> <strong>WOW features</strong> - the initial concept produced by our design team included some WOW features which really highlighted the uniqueness of the design (we'll talk about these later!). As desirable as these were, Millets were keen to cover the staples of most indoor soft play facilities; with the large open slides, the ball pools and the tube slides all getting special mention.<br /> <br /> <strong>Theme</strong> - the initial concept included a 'Farm' theme, but one specifically tailored to the features and facilities at Millets Farm. However, Millets were keen to take this even further and incorporate their own characters / branding. As part of the overall approach to the appearance of the building, a more realistic rather than cartoonist look was requested; a unique theme for a unique venue. Easily achievable by our theming team - the best artists in the biz!<br /> <br /> <strong>Education</strong> - an important element of the play is the level of detail beyond pure theming; including educational elements built into the design. Educational but most importantly FUN!<br /> <br /> <strong>Some of the areas included in the design are:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Main Soft Play Structure (5-10 year olds)</li> <li>Sports Court Area (5-10 year olds)</li> <li>Toddler &amp; Baby Area - Structure</li> <li>Role Play Area (3-6 year olds)</li> <li>Toddler Soft Play Area</li> </ul> <p>Soft Brick are happy to say we completed the build at Millets right on schedule and think it&rsquo;s one of our new favourite Farm themed builds! <br /> <br /> Everyone here at Soft Brick would like to wish the team at Millets / Sprouts Play Barn the very best of luck for the future! Be sure to check out the photos and stop by to check out the farm for yourself!<br /> <br /> Please visit <a href="http://milletsfarmcentre.com">http://milletsfarmcentre.com</a> for more information and <a href="https://www.softbrick.co.uk/blogs/case-studies/case-study-millets-farm-oxfordshire">https://www.softbrick.co.uk/blogs/case-studies/case-study-millets-farm-oxfordshire</a> to read the full case study. </p>Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/case-study-sprouts-play-barn-millets-farm-oxfordshire-by-soft-brickRTC: Celebrating 25 Yearshttp://www.api-play.org/rtc-celebrating-25-years<p><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/25%20Years%20Front%20Banner.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded center-block" /><br /> How time flies when you are having fun! This year we are celebrating 25 years in the play industry, and claiming our place as one of the oldest playground surfacing companies in the UK.</p> <p>And we couldn&rsquo;t be more excited!<br /> <br /> Established in 1993 our mission has always been to support communities in making the most of their outdoor space by helping children stay safe as they play. We firmly believe playgrounds are a vital part of childhood and bring a range of benefits for both the local community and individual child development.<br /> <br /> Since our beginnings we have actively sought ways in which to make play areas as fun as possible, pioneering the use of graphics within surfacing and training all of our teams in-house, to create bespoke designs for clients.<br /> <br /> We&rsquo;ve also gone out of our way to prove any space can be used for play! Past projects have seen us installing surfacing in playgrounds, shopping centres, and even roof tops. Our mission has seen us travel around the globe carrying out work in Scandinavia, Europe, Africa and even Equatorial Guinea.<br /> To mark our anniversary we will be taking the time to look back at how things have changed for us and the play industry, as well as speculating about what the future holds. Visit our website or find us on social media to keep up to date.<br /> <br /> We&rsquo;d also like to thank everyone who has supported us in the past, here&rsquo;s to the next 25 years!</p> <h6>#RTC25Years</h6> <p>Learn more about RTC Safety Surfaces visit:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rtcsafety.co.uk/"> www.rtcsafety.co.uk&nbsp;</a><br /> <br /> </p>Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/rtc-celebrating-25-yearsWicksteed Playgrounds Celebrates its 100th Year!http://www.api-play.org/wicksteed-playgrounds-celebrates-its-100th-year<p>In a year when we remember 100 years since the end of WW1, iconic children&rsquo;s playground designer &amp; manufacturer, Wicksteed Playgrounds, will also be celebrating reaching the incredible milestone of 100 years of providing fun and entertainment for generations of children past, present and future!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Giant%20Sqaure-web.jpg" style="float: right; margin-top: 4px; margin-bottom: 4px; margin-left: 10px; width: 350px; height: 314px;" />Its founder, Charles Wicksteed died in 1931 but his firm is going strong, and in 2018 will be celebrating its centenary of furnishing a nation with play opportunities. Bullish in his pursuit of success, Charles would be pleased to see Wicksteed as still one of the UK&rsquo;s leading manufacturers of children&rsquo;s outdoor play and sports equipment, exporting far and wide, and still pushing the latest technologies to create play equipment that entices a new generation of children into the outdoors. <br /> <br /> In 1876 Charles Wicksteed (1847-1931) founded an engineering company in Kettering, Charles Wicksteed and Company, which prospered such that Wicksteed became a wealthy businessman. In 1913 he bought a parcel of agricultural land south-east of Kettering and formed the Wicksteed Village Trust. His intention was to provide a model village for the working classes at below-average rents, offering generous gardens and a large open public space for recreation and play.<br /> <br /> Charles realised the importance of play in children&rsquo;s lives and by 1918, his firm was making vast quantities of playground equipment not just for his park, but also to sell commercially, manufacturing and installing play equipment to public parks and schools across the UK and around the world. Over decades they made a dazzling array of equipment, from pioneering metal slides, the plank swing or &lsquo;jazz&rsquo; (an ingenious cross between a swing and a see-saw), to the Ocean Wave (a ring-shaped platform on which a group of children sat or stood to revolve around a central pole) And of course, let&rsquo;s not forget the beloved Wicksteed Rocking Horse on which, from the 1930s onwards, children were able to ride.<br /> <br /> When we think of today&rsquo;s most innovative companies, we often list those that are less than a decade old and have recently gone public. More impressive, however, are the companies that have been around for not just 10 years, but 10-plus decades and were established before the internet, let alone television, air travel, the Great Depression and the end of the first World War. These companies haven&rsquo;t just scraped by, they&rsquo;ve reinvented themselves multiple times and remained at the forefront of branding and marketing and have evolved and adapted to stay current.<br /> <br /> <em>&ldquo;It takes resilience and willingness to change, to weather more than a century.&rdquo;</em><br /> <br /> Today, Wicksteed is regarded one of the most innovative outdoor play companies, which uses cutting edge technologies, at its factory in the UK, to create fun and thrilling play experiences. As well as static play equipment, Wicksteed offers bespoke play design, electronic play, sports apparatus and a comprehensive range of outdoor gym equipment which can be found in hundreds of community spaces across the country.<br /> <br /> Reaching this landmark is an exciting time for Wicksteed, to reflect on its incredible heritage but also to look forward to what will continue to be offered in the world of outdoor play, sport and fitness for the next century! As part of its centenary celebrations the company&rsquo;s logo has been re-designed and a number of significant events will be held over the year including the re-creation of an old Wicksteed favourite&hellip;so watch this space!<br /> <br /> For further information, contact the team at Wicksteed on 01536 517028 and visit <a href="http://www.wicksteed.co.uk">www.wicksteed.co.uk</a><br /> <br /> </p>Tue, 02 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/wicksteed-playgrounds-celebrates-its-100th-yearNew Playground Extension Scores Highly With Young Footballershttp://www.api-play.org/new-playground-extension-scores-highly-with-young-footballers<p>YOUNG footballers scored a new playground extension highly after members of the community had their say on its development.</p> <p> <div class="row"> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-4"><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Creative-Jubilee-17-web.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded" /></div> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-4"><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Creative-Jubilee-12-web.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded" /></div> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-4"><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Creative-Jubilee-6-web.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded" /></div> </div> </p> <p> <div class="row"> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-4"><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Creative-Jubilee-7-web2.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded" /></div> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-4"><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Creative-Jubilee-22-web.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded" /></div> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-4"><img alt="" src="/upload/public/images/news/Creative-Jubilee-9-web.jpg" class="img-responsive img-rounded" /></div> </div> </p> <p>The impressive &pound;28,000 facility at Jubilee Park in Whitchurch, was designed and manufactured by outdoor play experts, Creative Play, as part of a significant investment from Whitchurch Town Council.<br /> <br /> The family firm were set the mission of turning a &ldquo;blank canvas&rdquo; into a dream destination designed to challenge youngsters&rsquo; physical, motor and social skills.<br /> <br /> Spread over a large area, the extension features a pirate ship, climbing unit and basket swing.<br /> <br /> On Saturday, it was given the seal of approval by team members of Whitchurch Alport Junior Football Club during its official opening which was also attended by the Mayor of Whitchurch, Councillor Tony Neville, and Councillor Terry O&rsquo;Neill, chair of the Parks Committee.<br /> <br /> Creative Play&rsquo;s sales director, David Esser, explained how the project came about. He said:<em> &ldquo;The town clerk for the council approached us asking us to provide three design options for a play area extension. We submitted some options and they were displayed in the Civic Hall along with designs from two other companies as part of a week-long public consultation. Members of the community were asked to come and see the designs and put a sticker on whichever one they thought was best, and one of ours was the most popular choice.</em><br /> <br /> &ldquo;The council made the final decision in late September and asked if the work could be turned around quickly in time for the October half term and we managed to do that for them."<br /> <br /> David, who has worked for the Chester-based company for more than seven years, added: <em>&ldquo;The playground extension includes a basket swing which is great for promoting inclusivity as it is suitable for children with limited mobility. There&rsquo;s also a climbing unit which is very different from the equipment that is already there in the existing playground.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Because the area is near the old canal site, people were really keen that some sort of boat was involved so we&rsquo;ve built a pirate ship with a slide, climbing nets and tunnels.&nbsp;I visited the playground a short while later and it was nice to see the area swarming with children. It&rsquo;s a fantastic play area which, because it&rsquo;s made from natural timber materials, is in-keeping with the lovely setting.&rdquo;</em> </p> <p>Whitchurch Mayor, Councillor Tony Neville said: <em>&ldquo;The new extension to the Jubilee Park play area is fantastic. The equipment is a great addition and Whitchurch Town Council thank everyone for taking part in the consultation. The council hope that families will get great pleasure in playing on the new equipment, we have done what the residents asked for and are extremely happy with the result.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong></strong></em>Councillor Terry O&rsquo;Neill, chair of the Parks Committee said:<em><strong></strong> &ldquo;I have worked closely with council members, the clerk and Creative Play to move this project forward and I am very happy with the outcome.&nbsp;</em>Creative Play has been very good to work with and their team did a splendid job with installing the new play area in good time for half term. Having met many of the families and children who voted during our public consultation, and seen the drawings of the play area extension, the actual play equipment surpasses the drawings and I have only received positive feedback.&rdquo;</p> <p>Members of Whitchurch Alport Junior Football Club were very enthusiastic about the new play area. Tyler Depaul, seven, said: <em>"We come to the park a lot to play and the new pirate ship is really brilliant!"</em><br /> <br /> Club chairman, Rob Foster, said:<em> "The playground extension is a brilliant addition to the park. It's new and fresh and gives the kids something the park has been lacking for quite some time. I remember when the first play area was built and my children used to love it then but this is even better.&nbsp;</em><em>Creative Play have done a fantastic job bringing many hours of fun for generations to come."</em></p> <p> Each Creative Play playground is designed to suit the client&rsquo;s specifications, depending on their budget and location.<br /> <br /> All of Creative Play&rsquo;s equipment is designed and manufactured in Chester by the company&rsquo;s in house teams, who use state of the art equipment and each specialise in timber, plastic or metal. <br /> <br /> Creative Play&rsquo;s own teams install all of the equipment and surfacing to meet the requirements of the client and their own rigorous quality standards.<br /> <br /> For more information visit:<a href="http:// www.creativeplayuk.com "> www.creativeplayuk.com </a>or call 01244 375627. Facebook and Twitter @CreativePlayUK<br /> <br /> To find out more about Whitchurch Alport Junior Football Club email <a href="mailto:wajfccomms@gmail.com ">wajfccomms@gmail.com </a>or website is <a href="http://www.wajfc.co.uk">www.wajfc.co.uk</a><br /> <br /> </p>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMThttp://www.api-play.org/new-playground-extension-scores-highly-with-young-footballers