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10 points to consider when planning your play area and choosing the right provider:

A new play area is a considerable investment.  Careful consideration of needs and choosing the right provider are vital when making that important decision.  Here are some things to consider when embarking on such a project:

 1) Trust

Choose your provider carefully. Are they members of the API (Association of Play Industries)? Please click on the link to find out why this is so important to you. 6 Reasons to use an API member

 2) Safeguarding

Does the equipment your provider is offering have a Certificate of Compliance. This is very important to know that the products supplied are independently verified to comply with BSEN1176 or TUV safety standards. This ensures that children in your care are using equipment that meets all the necessary safety criteria and if in the event of an unfortunate accident and/or insurance claim this documentation will support the fact due diligence was been carried out.

3) Reputable

Ask your provider for references of other projects they have worked on (example projects page). A credible play company would be delighted to show off their portfolio of projects. Ask for information to visit a site that is a few years old not one that is relatively new. Then you will get a better understanding of the quality of the equipment and installation to assess how it will age over time.

4) Support

A new play area is an investment that should pay dividends for years and therefore you need to ask what level of after sales/ after sales support you can expect to receive. Does your provider offer a maintenance schedule, a maintenance contract a spare parts service? Is there a customer service department with its own contact details?

Click here for expert advice

5) Communication

Ensure that a pre start meeting is scheduled to take place prior to commencement of works. Ask for Risk Assessments and Method Statements to be reviewed and discussed at this meeting. Have all considerations of the site been considered and built into the schedule of works (access arrangements, access times, security & welfare). Have delivery times been factored into the working day. Have all potential Health and Safety issues been addressed. Every location is unique.

6) Attention to detail

Has your provider understood your requirements from the outset of your journey. They need to have a process to follow as unexpected costs can be avoided if the provider has clearly demonstrated an understanding of the site in question and has identified possible issues on site. This is a major consideration at the pre sales stage, through the initial site survey, through delivery of the solution and upon completion. It is important for you the customer to gauge the level of attention to detail at the outset. If corners have been cut when gathering knowledge of your needs at the outset it spells potentential issues further along the way.

7) Knowledge

Make sure the provider is aware of the conditions of your site, they should be asking lots of questions to understand the area and ensure they give you the best solution possible for your circumstances. Some key questions include:

Does your proposed location hold water or drain poorly during the year?

What solutions does your provider have for this?

Does your provider have an option for steel feet on timber posts to prevent rotting?

Are there alternative/more appropriate materials such as steel or hard wood (Robinia) products?

Have ground works options for surfacing been fully explained and discussed? Certain solutions are more suitable for boggy areas. If this isn’t done properly at the outset it will soon need replacing.

8) Understanding your users needs

Are the needs of your users being met? What do you want the outcomes to be? Has the provider deviated from the original reason you wanted to invest your finances into the play space. The project will have been born from a need to satisfy a requirement for your setting.

The provider needs to demonstrate they have listened to your brief and presented a high quality, long lasting, fun, challenging and inclusive space in keeping with the environment that meets your expectations. Needs that should be considered:

Users: The age and ability on the intended users.

Curriculum/Competencies: The skills and experience you want to the playground to promote

Space: How the playground should be split into zones to support different types of play

Surroundings: How the playground fits in with the immediate surroundings

Activities: What equipment or activities should be incorporated into each space to stimulate the children’s experience and competencies.

Take the time to review the design that is presented to you, are all stakeholders happy with the proposal.


Has your provider fully explained the guarantees and warranties to you? Look beyond the headline statement. What does it really cover? What kind of costs can you expect to incur throughout the life of your equipment? Ask the provider’s representative to explain fully what is covered.


Creativity is where your provider can express their uniqueness of what they can offer, they are the experts and this is their opportunity to shine.
At this point you need to ask the provider about the composition of the design and the rationale to meet your individual needs.

What considerations has the provider made when designing the equipment and play area?
Have they explored all avenues to ensure the products are appropriate for your users?
Have they taken into account the development of Cognitive, Social/Emotional, Creative and Physical skills of the students?
What materials have they used and why? Consider the benefits and how it helps support your needs.

Get in touch today!

Planning for a new play area?

We'll be happy to give you an introduction to our extensive range, or come in and provide a full consultation and quote.

Call us on: 01908 201 002 or fill in the contact form and one of our friendly team will be in touch!

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KOMPAN consider all 10 points and more...

At KOMPAN we have been operating across the UK developing schools outdoor areas into stimulating, fun and social spaces for over 45+ years.

Our comprehensive range of educational play and sports products offer compelling designs, high play value, uncompromising safety, unique innovation, long-lasting quality and great value playground equipment for all ages and physical abilities. 

Examples of KOMPAN projects

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    Hallfield School

    With part of their playground being condemned due to the soft wood rotting in the ground, Hallfield needed to remove their current equipment and wanted to create a brand new exciting space for... Read More »

  • featured item

    Heronsgate Primary Royal Arsenal Campus

    The school wanted to make the most of an area of the playground that couldn’t be used, including a partly soiled patch, a grassed area and dead space that was covered in mud. With the... Read More »

  • featured item

    All Saints CofE Primary School MUGA

      With an uneven playground, the school didn’t have a flat surface that was suitable for sports. After applying to the government under the ‘primary spaces funding’ they... Read More »

  • featured item

    Wouldham All Saints Primary

    Having recently relocated to a new build from a 150 year old school that was too small, Wouldham needed to create a new outdoor space. With ‘Friends of’ the school and the PTA raising... Read More »

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