The Splashpad® in Cardiff’s Victoria Park has breathed new life into the neighborhood. It replaces a decades-old paddling pool that saw declining attendance and steadily increasing maintenance costs in its last few years.
The project had initially been the subject of community resistance with thousands of signatures collected in a petition to save the old paddling pool. But the positive changes have been dramatic and immediate. In its first season, the Splashpad® attracted an average of 5,950 visitors per week, compared to the roughly 470 children who visited the paddling pool it replaced. Total season figures have been estimated at 71,400 versus an average of 8,000 annual visitors using the paddling pool.
The city approached Vortex’s local expert Ustigate to design an aquatic play facility that recognized the history at Victoria Park and its original wading pool and zoo.
The result was a vibrant Splashpad® featuring a wide range of water play products from Vortex’s Nature Collection, with play experiences for kids of all ages and abilities. The toddler bay offers gentle interaction with water, including ground jets, misters, jet streams and small, friendly products such as a crab and a fish.
On the opposite side, the teen bay is dynamic and energetic; intense water movements like dumping water and laminar jets come from larger, taller structures. The family bay in between includes iconic features like the “Spider” and dumping bucket. The new installation is accessible to all, one of the community’s original objectives.
The city anticipates significant savings in operating costs with the installation compared to running the previous paddling pool. Daily maintenance is minimal, and because the Splashpad® is zero-depth, no lifeguard is required.
Victoria Park’s Splashpad® has proven to be a wonderful success story, with residents visiting in large numbers and eagerly anticipating many more Splashpad® seasons to come!