Mia’s Beanstalk Climbing Frame to be Unveiled at Wicksteed Park

Posted 28th February 2024

A Jack in the Beanstalk-inspired climbing frame designed by a 10-year-old girl from Northampton is set to become the newest attraction at Wicksteed Park’s award-winning playground.

The fairy-tale themed frame by Mia Opoku Agyeman came first in a children’s competition to design new playground equipment as part of the Kettering theme park’s @Play Project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and North Northamptonshire Council.

Now Mia’s design is becoming a reality with the help of world-renowned play equipment manufacturer Wicksteed Leisure Ltd, which is using her original 3D computer generated drawings to build a four-metre-tall version.

Mia and her family were given a sneak preview of her design being manufactured at Wicksteed Leisure Ltd’s Kettering-base factory.

The new climbing frame, which is due to be installed next month ahead of its official unveiling on 23rd March, features leaf climbing pods, Perspex panels and a wind-up board that will emit a noise when someone goes down the slide.

Designers at Wicksteed Leisure Ltd have been hard at work ensuring the finished product meets Mia’s approval while also complying with the highest safety standards.

“The whole team here were hugely impressed with Mia’s imaginative design and the story behind it,” said Wicksteed Leisure Ltd’s Lynne Egginton.

“Our challenge was turning it into a reality that will provide an exciting, fun and safe experience for children of all ages to enjoy.

“We are really pleased with how it has turned out and we hope it meets Mia’s expectations. It has been a joy to collaborate with such a talented young lady and the Wicksteed Park team to bring this concept through to reality.” she added.

Mia’s climbing frame will take pride of place in Wicksteed Park’s famous playground which has been providing countless hours of fun for generations of youngsters for more than a century.

The playground has always been free to access thanks to the work of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust.

“Wicksteed Park has been the home of children’s play since it opened back in 1921. Its founder Charles Wicksteed developed many of today’s most popular playground rides including the swing, the slide and the witch’s hat,” said the Park’s Chairman Oliver Wicksteed.

“What better way to carry on his legacy than to have a design created by a young person, built by the company that still bears his name, and installed here in his beloved park?

“We’re all very much looking forward to welcoming Mia and her family along to see the finished product and to be the first to officially to try it out,” he added.

The @Play project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is an initiative to encourage more people to learn about the heritage of the park and the continued importance and value of play for the local community.

For more information and to access Wicksteed Park’s heritage and archives visit wicksteedpark.org. Wicksteed Park, Barton Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN15 6NJ. Tel. 01536 512475.