BENDIGO children will decide which playground is installed in Hargreaves Mall.
Three designs have been drawn up for the long-awaited play area, with preschoolers and prep children to vote on the plans from next week.
City of Greater Bendigo director of community wellbeing Pauline Gordon said each design was distinctly different, but all catered for children under six.
“We’re inviting schools to participate; it will be a fantastic opportunity for them to have a say,” she said. “Bendigo is Australia’s first child-friendly city, so who better to determine the play space than children?”
Installation of the play area is expected to take about three months and be complete by March next year.
Several traders have said they would welcome a playground to boost attendance in the mall.
Ms Gordon said construction would start after Christmas to ensure retailers were not disadvantaged during the peak selling period. “There’s $150,000 set aside for the play space and there’s $50,000 for other amenities,” she said.
“Delivering the concepts within that budget is a very important criteria.
“All the designs are quite vibrant and colourful, fitting in with the vibrancy of the mall.”
Council staff will visit interested schools to show the children the plans.
“Or if the teachers don’t want us to come out, they can do it themselves,” Ms Gordon said.
“They don’t have to get involved, but we think it will be a fantastic opportunity for them to have a say.”