A whopping £2.8million has been invested in the brand new Cassiobury Park Hub and freshly restored splash pools and waterpark – and they’re really beginning to take shape.
The project is being funded as part of the £6.6m project to regenerate Cassiobury Park, with £5m coming from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Funds and £1.6m from Watford Borough Council.
A water play park with 30 state-of-the-art splash pads, water jets and fountains, will be next to the two new paddling pools when they open this spring. There will be raised “push buttons” for children in wheelchairs to control the water flow and flat surfaces so children with disabilities can enjoy a paddle. The neighbouring Cassiobury Park Hub will include a cafe, toilets, changing rooms, including Changing Places facilities for disabled users, community and exhibition room, education space and more.
In the council’s 2013 consultation, residents asked for more shade and better changing facilities, both of which will be provided near the new pools. There will be new trees and a ‘sail shade’ giving protection from the sun. The course of the pools will mimic that of a river, creating a more natural feel to the area.
The paddling pools project follows the opening in January 2017 of two outdoor gyms in the park, costing around £40,000 each, near the paddling pools and Cha Café. A further £350,000 was put into refurbishing the Edwardian Cha Cafe, while Watford’s 104-year-old bandstand was restored and returned from the town centre to its original home in the park.
The council will be installing a new ticket machine in the Gade Avenue car park to limit the length of time that vehicles can stay there to six hours. There will be no charge to park there, but the move – due to be introduced during April – will deter Met line commuters from using the car park. This will mean that there are more spaces available for Cassiobury Park visitors.
Cllr Peter Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Client Services, said: “So much is going on in Cassiobury Park at the moment. I can’t wait for the new pools and hub to open. The paddling pools will be enjoyed by so many young people. The Hub will be for the whole community to visit and enjoy, with magnificent views of both the park and the paddling pools. I can’t wait to see what they’re like when the work is finished.”