A SPLASH pad, sprinklers, an assault course and a cafe are some of the things people want to see at Vigo Recreation Ground in Andover.

As previously reported, Test Valley Borough Council is carrying out a consultation to help determine future enhancements to the children’s play area at the park.

As part of the consultation, families are encouraged to get involved in drop-in workshops. The first one took place at the Chantry Centre on Thursday, February 15 from 10am to 3pm.

An Advertiser reporter attended the consultation event in the morning and was surprised to see a low turnout, with only a few parents popping by to have their say.

A council spokesperson said: "We’re putting out a range of on- and offline communications to promote this consultation, with a strong response rate to the online survey already noted and a high number of views of our social posts. Numbers attending Thursday, session at the Chantry Centre fluctuated, as you’d expect, with peaks in activity at 11am-12pm and 12.30-1.30pm."

Mother-of-two Cheryl Steele, from Grateley, was one of the parents at the event.

Andover Advertiser: Cheryl Steele and her two childrenCheryl Steele and her two children (Image: Newsquest)

She said: "We don't use the park very much at the moment because it isn't fantastic. It is a bit further away than we would travel, but if it was a good park we would make an effort to travel."

Her two children, aged 10 and five, drew some designs to explain what they would like to see at the park.

Cheryl continued: "They are looking for more climbing so like an assault course, both of them are quite keen to get maybe a water feature and somewhere safe to lock up bikes or scooters."

She would also love to see a splash pad.

Andover Advertiser: Cheryl Steele looking at the drawings Cheryl Steele looking at the drawings (Image: Newsquest)

Cheryl added: "A water feature or sprinklers or something along those lines would be great especially in the summer because kids would love it. It would be one of the most important things."

Katie Tricker, who lives in Thruxton, said as a mum she would like to see a splash pad because its a nice safe way for children to entertain themselves for hours on a nice day. 

She said her children love going to parks so its good that the council are trying to get feedback from parents.

Cllr Iris Andersen also popped along to give her views.

Andover Advertiser: Cllr Iris Andersen at the eventCllr Iris Andersen at the event (Image: Newsquest)

Talking to the Advertiser, she added: "It is really important that everyone comes down and plays a part in this consultation because its all about what they want to see in the park and what we can hope to provide for the residents and for the children.

"I would like to see it being family friendly and see an exercise machine going in there which is important for the elderly and everybody to keep fit."

She said she would love to see toilet's and a café incorporated into plans.

The consultation follows on from an initial factfinding survey that helped the council to understand how people use the area, and in particular what facilities would encourage residents to use the space and extend their stay.

Around 600 people took part in that survey, which demonstrated that residents use the park for a diverse range of reasons with the most popular being the play area.

This was highlighted as a space that could be refreshed, improved, or expanded, with a broader variety of play equipment, for all ages.

Andover Advertiser: Residents were encouraged to write down ideasResidents were encouraged to write down ideas (Image: Newsquest)

The borough council’s cabinet have already approved £350,000 for this project. A summary of the outcome will be made available online and the information gathered will be used to inform the design for the improved play area.

Residents were also encouraged to write down ideas and a basketball court was one suggestion written down.

Another workshop will be held on Saturday, March 2 from 10am to 3pm, also at the shopping centre.

Further opportunities for the community to look at proposed designs and provide input will be advertised in the spring. Improvements to the play area will be planned to start in the Autumn 2024.

Residents can have their say by completing the online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/tvbcvigorec, it will close in mid-March.