Hargreaves Mall playground designs unveiled

PLANS for a Hargreaves Mall playground have been unveiled. 

The three colourful designs cater for children aged up to six and feature jumping areas, moveable parts, slides and climbing areas. 

Children must now vote on their preferred design before one play space is installed early next year at the cost of about $150,000. 

The council is also creating plans for other amenities, including portable plant boxes, which staff hope will be installed in the mall before Christmas. 

Council chief executive Craig Niemann said the playground was part of the council’s plans to upgrade Bendigo’s CBD.

“It’s about activating the mall with a play space and having more activities in there, making it more colourful and attractive,” he said.

“We’re working with the traders to understand what their needs are and what we can do to help them.

“This is part of an ongoing journey to make sure we can improve the look and feel of our public spaces.”

Two of the play space designs incorporate dragons, which the council’s community well-being director Pauline Gordon said reflected what young people wanted. 

“We had a lot of fun in creating these designs,” she said. “It’s important we continue to listen to young people and get their views.

“Hopefully we will get more people into the mall.” 

The playgrounds have been designed to withstand heavy usage and some sections will be interchangeable with future play spaces. 

Mr Niemann said the council wanted to “make the place flow and feel good”, noting that there were mixed views on how that could be done. 

“Everyone has a view and we won’t get consensus from everyone, but we’ve heard from traders that they want something that will attract young families,” he said. 

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