Ascot Racecourse opened its new Ascot Heath play area, which cost more than £30,000, on Tuesday for families to enjoy.
The play park is another boost for residents, who successfully fought for the heath to be reopened on race days.
The playground has a climbing frame and swing set along with other equipment and is suitable for youngsters up to the age of 12. It replaces an old play park on the site, which was last in use about eight years ago.
Kennel Ride resident Debbie Male praised the racecourse for sticking to its promise of reopening the park. She said: “We are delighted that Ascot Racecourse has gone ahead with their promise to provide this recreational facility.
“A great deal of thought and care has gone into the design of this area. It is just what the younger members of the community need on the heath.” To celebrate the opening, children from Ascot Nursery School were invited to the launch to have the first go on the equipment. They also made Royal Ascot-themed hats and joined residents and racecourse officials for tea and cake.
Pat Evitt, principal of the nursery, said: “I think it is absolutely fantastic and I am sure that the local community will be delighted and thoroughly enjoy this new facility.
“The nursery has been within the racecourse for 42 years and has always enjoyed a great relationship with the course management teams.” Charles Barnett, the racecourse’s chief executive, said: “We have worked closely with local community representatives on this initiative and hope that the investment of more than £30,000 will be thoroughly enjoyed by local families.
“In addition to the playground, we are fine-tuning arrangements for a new local community viewing area for Royal Ascot week, which will afford local residents trackside viewing for both the Royal Procession and the racing next week.” Ascot Racecourse had initially closed the heath on race days through public safety concerns, following a near-miss incident involving an emergency vehicle and a jogger wearing headphones last summer.
However, following discussions with residents, it implemented a pass system in October, which allows residents to apply for photographic passes for the heath.
A decision on the outcome of the heath pass trial system is due following the conclusion of Royal Ascot next week.