Green light for new play ship at Hartlepool’s The National Museum of The Royal Navy

A new play area for children is set to come to The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool after plans were given the green light by officers.

Earlier this year proposals were submitted by bosses at the museum based on Maritime Avenue to replace the existing play equipment after being in place for more than 15 years.

The proposals have now been given the go-ahead by council planning officers, which will involve replacing the existing play ship with a ‘robust modern play space’, including a new ship, at the same site with a design which offers ‘more inclusivity for wider audiences’.

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A report from council planning assistant Beth Graham confirmed the council had approved the plans.

It said: “It is considered that the proposal will appear in scale and keeping with the surrounding area, and that the proposed play area will safeguard the appearance of the surrounding area and the amenities of neighbouring properties and will not have an adverse impact on highways, flooding and public safety.”

A design and access statement submitted to the council planning department on behalf of Roslyn Adamson at the museum stated the plans aim to offer more for visitors.

It said: “Visitors currently spend an average of three hours on site with visitor feedback telling us that there needs to be more for families to do in order to spend more time here, more regularly.

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“In response we are proposing a package of interventions to enhance our family offer.

“The addition of new and improved interactive activity spaces will not only give families more to do, but improve interpretation for our younger audiences.

“Our existing playship is much loved, well used and referenced regularly in the positive visitor feedback we receive.

“Having been in place for more than fifteen years however, it is less accessible than modern equivalents and is suffering from irreparable wear and tear.”

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The proposed play area is positioned in the main courtyard of the museum, surrounded by a number of buildings owned by the museum.

The new equipment is to offer play opportunities for all ages ranges from 2+years.

The new playship is to feature multiple decks at varying heights and is to feature climbing opportunities as well as interactive play panels at ground level and sensory and disabled play facilities.

There is also to be an accompanying scheme of ‘interpretation panels’ which would help children learn about the HMS Trincomalee’s story, a historic warship based at the museum.

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The site is also set to include a carousel, a seesaw and a hammock.

Plans state the play facilities will be accessible to audiences with different learning and physical needs and will incorporate the town’s heritage and enable children to learn through play.

Consultation sessions took place with a local SEND school and with family groups in addition to surveys being carried out with general day visitors to come up with the play facilities.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service