A brand new recreation park that has opened to the public in Sheffield city centre has been designed with the ‘outdoor city’ in mind. Pound’s Park, located at Rockingham Street, has been in the works since 2021 and is part of the council’s £480m ‘heart of the city’ regeneration scheme.
Pounds Park opens in Sheffield
Pounds Park boasts two wooden pyramid towers with a climbing wall, wooden playhouses, a climbing boulder, stainless steel slides and musical paving.
Although there is still work to be completed, including electrical and water connections which will power the water feature and accessible public toilets, the majority of the landscaping work is done.
Parents and children flocked excitedly into the park as it opened at half past ten.
Booloot Arshaghi, who had brought her five-year-old son along, said: “I think it’s awesome because it’s hard to find places to keep your kids entertained [in the city centre]. It’s going to be so exciting during summer, especially since my son loves water features.”
Maria Hutupasu, a mother of two toddlers, said: “It’s amazing. I go to the city centre often and we usually go to the Peace Gardens and it’s such a good addition to have a play garden here as well. It’ll be good for them to get their energy out so they can later do the shopping with me quietly.”
Designed by local companies wherever possible
The council has outsourced the work to local companies wherever possible, including Henry Boot Construction, and the park’s design itself has strong ties to Sheffield.
Julian Stocks, 57, a landscape architect who designed the pergolas and lamp posts in the park explained that he drew inspiration from the city’s steelmaking history. “It comes from the idea of a grinding disk on a piece of steel and the semi-circular pergolas suggest the spinning of the grinding disk, while the spark formations on the lamp posts are the sparks that’s being produced by the grinding disk”, he said.
Stocks said that the climbing boulder and wall is a nod to the Yorkshire Dales and Sheffield’s association with climbing.
“It’s absolutely wonderful seeing people use the playground straight away. I even saw the guys on site playing with the musical paving. It’s been nice to work with the team. I think it’s going to be a very successful and well used public space.”
Other elements of the park have been influenced by public art contributions, such as those designed by RivelinCo, a local arts and community organisation.
“As part of a community outreach program, RivelinCo created these cardboard reliefs which I then had cast in bronze and set into the park’s paving. Another project of theirs involving poetry written by children about what Sheffield means to them, has been embossed on the walls as well”, Stocks said.
Creating an attractive environment for decades to come
It’s expected that the park will be completed by the end of the month and Councillor Mazher Iqbal, co-chair of the transport, regeneration and climate policy committee on Sheffield City Council, said temporary closures to the park may be needed to do so.
Councillor Iqbal also said in a press release that, “creating these spaces is not only about giving people free and attractive places to enjoy and relax in. It helps reduce vehicle congestion and emissions in the city centre, as well as creating an attractive environment that will see the city centre thrive for decades to come”.