Published: Tuesday, 9 May 2023

The children’s splash park at Hinksey Park will not open this summer, as the condition of the play surface and fountains is unsafe for children to use.

The council is committed to reproviding a fun, water-play area for children, and will involve local people in shaping the facility for future generations to enjoy. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to open the site this summer, due to the timescales for such a project and the significant amount of work involved.

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 now risks children getting injured. The site has closed for short periods in recent years to allow for repairs, but now needs major work to the concrete base as well as 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 normal from the May Morning bank holiday.

For families looking to cool off this summer, Hinksey Outdoor Pool is expected to open from 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.

“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.”

Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Cabinet Member for Parks and Leisure

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