The project to improve Milner Square began in October 2015. The square did not appear to be somewhere people would go to ‘sit and relax’ and those with small children who did visit, tended not to stay for any length of time due to the limited play opportunities on offer.
The Parks Service appointed LDA Design in February 2016 to design the improvements. Working with stakeholders that included residents, park users and internal council departments, a design was agreed upon. With the majority of play concentrated in the north, the southern side, which enjoys more sunshine than its northern counterpart, was transformed into a woodland garden with a new lawn and seating.
In order to increase access for all, a circuitous perimeter path was created, running through the square on both sides. This also meets users’ requests to provide opportunity for children to use skates and bikes.
The build took 14 weeks to complete and the improvements have been very well received by users and the wider community. It was teeming with people in last year’s warm weather whereas previously, it would have stood more or less empty and is now considered a destination rather than just a convenient cut-through.