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Shiver me timbers land lubbers! Thorp Arch Estate launches new children's play area

Mon 18th October
A WELL-KNOWN children's play area re-launches this month after replacing one of the region's best-loved items of play equipment - a full-size fantasy pirate ship which captured the imagination of thousands of children
Shiver me timbers land lubbers!
Elmet and Rothwell MP, Alec Shelbrooke, cuts the ribbon to open the new children’s playground with the Estate Manager, Tim Munns

A WELL-KNOWN children's play area re-launches this month (Oct) after replacing one of the region's best-loved items of play equipment - a full-size fantasy pirate ship which captured the imagination of thousands of children

The latest in play equipment, a giant, multi-use, Metropolis, has been imported from the US in a £100,000 investment by Thorp Arch Estate, Wetherby, for its play area which has been a highlight of the estate since it was established more than 40 years ago.

A brand-new Bucaneer Ship, HMS Thorp Arch, has also been installed at the play area on Thorp Arch Retail Park in memory of the original pirate ship, which became a popular attraction with generations of children after it was installed in 1971. Many returned as adults and brought their own children to play on it.

The original pirate ship, an old grain barge which had to be cut in half to be transported from the River Ouse, York, to Thorp Arch Retail Park - where it was transformed into a children's fantasy world pirate ship - could no longer be safely repaired and was dismantled and taken away this summer, in spite of a `save-the-pirate-ship' Twitter campaign by adults who played on it as children.

The modernisation of the play area, which attracts many thousands of children each year, is part of £500,000 of improvements to the Retail Park, which features retailers such as DFS, Power Electrical and Sharps Bedrooms, including new signage, lighting and road surfacing.

Metropolis, which measures 32 ft by 48 ft and is 14ft tall,  combines a variety of play activities for children including brightly coloured slides, ladders, climbing walls, and coloured canopies.

Elmet and Rothwell MP, Alec Shelbrooke, will officially open the new play area on Saturday October 23 when there will be activities including helium balloons, face painting, trampolines and a live appearance by a local radio presenter.

Tim Munns, a director of Wharfedale Property Management, which runs Thorp Arch Estate for owner, Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust, says: "Improvements are continually being carried out on the estate, whether transforming former ordnance buildings into modern business units or enhancing parts of our 385-acre grounds and now we have turned our attention to the play area.

"Thousands of children play here every year, while their parents or grandparents go shopping, and it is one of the estate's best-loved facilities. The former pirate ship was very popular and was remembered with affection by many people who played on it as children.

"We were not surprised that there was a Twitter campaign to save the ship but sadly it had to go. We've lost count of the number of times people have asked about it over the years but now we have a new replacement which we hope children today will recall with the same affection when they are adults."

The two million sq ft Thorp Arch Estate Estate is  the base for a diverse range of more than 150 businesses, from start-ups to large Plcs, operating in local, national and international markets and employing more than 2,500 people. Thorp Arch Retail Park, which forms part of the estate, was the first out-of-town shopping centre in the country when it opened in 1959 and is complemented by a variety of leisure facilities

Press Contact:
Name: Mike Clarke, Media Giants PR Ltd
Telephone: 01423 568847
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© Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust
The Estate Office, Thorp Arch Estate, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7FZ
+44 (0)1937 845919 | office@wharfedalepm.co.uk