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Ashford Designer Outlet opens playground

A new state of the art children's play area is now open.

The £400,000 Garden of England themed playground can be found at the Ashford Designer Outlet, off Kimberley Way.

It features a seven-metre high Robinia tree house - one of the UK’s tallest of its kind - a slide, climbing frames and see-saws.

The new play park is now open (10956366)
The new play park is now open (10956366)

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.

And to ensure the equipment is up to scratch Year 5 pupils from the John Wallis Academy were sent in to try it out.

Children from John Wallis were the first to test the new play park (10956556)
Children from John Wallis were the first to test the new play park (10956556)

The 'slide' testers were the first group to run, jump, slide and climb on the new equipment during their visit yesterday.

The visit also marked the first time the pupils saw the three winning butterfly designs featured on the play park, which they helped create at an education and colouring session with the Kent Wildlife Trust last month.

John McParland, principal of the John Wallis Academy, said: "Our students had so much fun visiting McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford to test out the new playground.

The play area includes climbing frames, a slide and interactive elements.
The play area includes climbing frames, a slide and interactive elements.

"Seeing the students butterfly designs come to life was a special moment for staff and students alike, we already can’t wait to come and play again."

Peter Corr, centre manager, said: “We are thrilled to have launched our hugely anticipated children’s playground.

"It has been fantastic to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they explored the equipment.

The visit marked the first time students saw their winning butterfly designs come to life
The visit marked the first time students saw their winning butterfly designs come to life

"We hope the new playground delights our little visitors for years to come, as guests experience the family friendly offering available."

The playground is part of the Ashford Designer Outlet's £90m expansion plans.

Fifty new shops will be added to the centre's offer, plus new restaurants, an event space and more car parking spaces.

Work is currently underway to add an additional 100,000 sq ft of retail space - which will also create 50 jobs.

This month two new eateries opened at the centre, including a YO! Sushi and a Pret.

The ‘Garden of England’ themed play area delivers the ultimate play experience
The ‘Garden of England’ themed play area delivers the ultimate play experience

To celebrate the launch of the new playground children who visit the centre between May 27-31 will be able to enjoy a butterfly colouring workshops, where they can discover more about the local wildlife that inspired the Garden of England themed playground.

Located next to the playground, the free workshops will run throughout the half term from 11.30am-3pm in partnership with the Kent Wildlife Trust.

A late night shopping event will also be held at the mall next Thursday; guests can enjoy live music and opening hours will be extended from 9am to 11pm.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford


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