The children’s splash park at Hinksey Park will remain closed this summer, as the condition of the play surface and fountains are unsafe for children to use.
In a message on its website, Oxford City Council said it is committed to providing a fun, water-play area for children and will involve local people in shaping the facility for the enjoyment of future generations.
Unfortunately, the site will not be opened this summer due to the timescales and scale of work involved in such a project.
Ongoing repairs are no longer enough to keep the site safe. The fountains have become unreliable, and damage to the play surface and concrete base means the site risks children getting injured.
The site has closed for short periods in recent years to allow for repairs but now needs significant work on the concrete base and the surface and fountains. This scale of work could not be done over the winter, as new concrete needs dry weather with temperatures above ten degrees.
The city’s other splash park, at Cutteslowe, received a £180k renovation in 2016 and opened as planned from the May Morning bank holiday.
For families looking to cool off this summer, Hinksey Outdoor Pool is expected to open in late May, and all Oxford under-17s can apply for a free swim card that gives free access to open swimming sessions.
The City Council has recently invested in securing the future of Hinksey Outdoor Pool for the long term, with heat pumps to reduce energy use and a new pool liner, which is currently being fitted.
Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Cabinet Member for Parks and Leisure at Oxford City Council, said: “We know families will be disappointed the splash park won’t open this summer, but safety has to come first.
“We’re looking at how we can provide a splash park in future years, they’re really popular with children and parents, and we’re committed to finding an affordable solution. The splash park at Cutteslowe will still provide a great place for children over the summer.”