£160,000 Hitchin splash park is open – but is it too small?

Eli McLoughlin

Eli McLoughlin - Credit: Archant

A new family-friendly splash park in Hitchin town centre is open for business – but as soon as the taps were turned on parents started to voice safety and overcrowding concerns.

The Bancroft play area is due to be officially opened today in a special ceremony after a £160,000 investment by North Herts District Council, which has also opened a similar facility in Royston and had already created splash parks in Letchworth and Baldock.

But the Hitchin park is much smaller than the set-ups in Baldock and Letchworth, prompting concerns from worried parents.

Mum-of-two Suzie Godfrey said: “Bancroft Splash Park is a lot smaller than anticipated.

“It’s simply not going to be practical for anyone with school-aged children in the holidays.

“I’ve got concerns about toddlers and babies getting pushed over by older children, and that’s not fair on either age group.

“I’ll be sticking with Howard Park in Letchworth or St Albans on longer day trips, as I know they can safely accommodate all age groups.”

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The water-based play area in Hitchin is designed around a ‘buccaneer’ theme and includes interactive water jets, a pirate ship and a play area which caters for younger children.

Councillor Jane Gray, who is responsible for leisure services at the council, said: “The splash park was built as large as the budget would allow, and is comparable with the size of the new Royston splash park.

“We had extensive community consultations to establish the facilities people wanted to see – and we’re delighted to see those designs become a reality.”

To mark the opening the council will be holding a Fun In The Park event on Wednesday, July 27, from 10am to 12 noon, which will include sporting challenges, inflatable fun with a bouncy castle and getting messy in the arts and crafts areas.

l Do you think the Bancroft Splash Park is too small, or just right? Let us know, email news@thecomet.net