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New playground at Ashford Designer Outlet to open in May

A new £400,000 children's playground - themed on the Garden of England - will open next month.

It will open at the Ashford Designer Outlet, off Kimberley Way, which is currently undergoing a massive £90m expansion.

Images of the new play park, which will feature a seven-metre high Robinia tree house, were released at the end of last year.

The new play area will open next month
The new play area will open next month

As well as the tree house - the UK’s tallest of its kind - the playground will include a slide, climbing frames and see-saws.

The digitally-enhanced playground will also feature immersive augmented reality play experiences from Hans Christian Anderson.

It will have space for more than 200 children to play at one time.

Although the opening date is still to be revealed , 'slide' testers from the John Wallis Academy have been chosen to try the new equipment before it officially opens to the public.

Year five pupils from the John Wallis Academy helped design artwork for the new playground (9145420)
Year five pupils from the John Wallis Academy helped design artwork for the new playground (9145420)

The year five pupils have also been selected to design an element of the playground.

During an education session with Kent Wildlife Trust, which aims to connect children with nature, the pupils were asked to design their own butterfly.

The three best designs are now set to be brought to life and installed within the new playground.

Peter Corr, centre manager at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford said: “We are thrilled to be working with the John Wallis Academy for the launch of our exciting new children’s playground.

"As a family friendly destination, it is imperative for us that our little visitors have the best possible experience.

"We cannot wait to see the smiles on the students faces as they test out our one of a kind ‘Garden of England’ play experience”.

The Outlet is being extended
The Outlet is being extended

John McParland, Principal of the John Wallis Academy said: “Our students are so excited to be working with McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford to launch their new playground.

"Having the opportunity to design an element of the playground and be the first children to test the new equipment will be a highlight of the school year.”

The expanded Outlet is due to open in Autumn 2019, and will include 50 new premium and luxury brands and new facilities such as an events space, food piazza and 725 car additional car parking spaces.

It is also expected to create 500 new jobs in the town.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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