Three-year-old invited to open new Suffolk play area

Sloane Fairbairn, who officially opened the new Douglas Park play area in Mildenhall Picture: WEST S

Sloane Fairbairn, who officially opened the new Douglas Park play area in Mildenhall Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

A three-year-old who sobbed at the gates of her local play area after it was forced to close was invited to reopen the new facility.

Sloane Fairbairn, who was seen sobbing at the gates of playground at Douglas Park, Mildenhall, when

Sloane Fairbairn, who was seen sobbing at the gates of playground at Douglas Park, Mildenhall, when it closed Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

West Suffolk Council had to close Douglas Park in Mildenhall earlier this year after equipment got damaged and inspectors deemed it no longer safe to use.

The council has since worked with primary school children from St Mary's Academy to select equipment for a new-look playground - which officially opened on Friday, August 23.

Young Sloane Fairbairn was invited to try out the new £60,000 play area before officially opening it for other children to enjoy.

Sloane was invited to do the honours after she was seen sobbing at the closed gates on a Facebook video posted by her grandmother Yvette Head.

Councillors Andy Neal and Richard Alecock (centre left) with families as three-year-old Sloane Fairb

Councillors Andy Neal and Richard Alecock (centre left) with families as three-year-old Sloane Fairbairn (centre) opens the new play area at Douglas Park Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL - Credit: Archant


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She said: "She was so upset that day but the new play area looks fantastic, she was so excited and happy coming here today and I'm sure she will be down playing here on a regular basis."

MORE: Play area to reopen after £60,000 investmentJoanna Rayner, West Suffolk Council's cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "We recognise that encouraging children to get out and play is great for their health.

"They are also places where parents, grandparents and carers can entertain children with a free, fun activity and where the children themselves can use up some of that boundless energy they seem to have.

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"We have so many great parks and play areas across west Suffolk and through a rolling programme, we are continuing to invest in them for children across west Suffolk to get out and enjoy."

Andy Neal, who represents the Mildenhall Queensway Ward which includes Douglas Park, said: "There has been huge excitement and anticipation in the community ever since the design for the new play area was revealed.

"It is a significant investment which has been shaped through engagement with children from the local primary school.

"I have no doubt that this play area will be very popular - it looks out of this world. This is a proud day for the local community that I represent."

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