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Ten outdoor play spaces at Bradford nursery schools transformed thanks to Better Place

7 July 2023

Better Start Bradford’s Better Place project have been working their magic across primary school and community centre outdoor play areas by installing play equipment, dens, planting areas, sensory gardens, all-weather surfaces and much more at 10 nursery sites across the Better Start Bradford area, Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.

One of the nursery sites, Dixons Marchbank Primary School in Barkerend, had an open day on 4 July 2023, where local families with toddlers were able to play on, climb up and crawl through the new wooden play equipment. The also got to enjoy the new mini assault course with beautiful wooden bridges leading to an outdoor storytelling area with toadstools for children to sit on while they listen to tales of adventure and imaginary worlds.

Sameera Khan, Parental Involvement Worker, Dixons Marchbank Primary, said:

We would like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to Adele and the Better Place team from all of us at Dixons Marchbank Primary. Thanks to the funding, design and installation works from Better Place, our bare field has been totally transformed into a wonderful outdoor space that our toddlers can play in and enjoy, with amazing play equipment that will entertain many children for years to come.

Our children and parents have also played their part in completing the play area and improving air quality in the community by joining in with tree planting sessions. 11 fruit trees were funded by Trees for Cities, along with 20 trees and 120 saplings which came from the Tree for Every Child project.

Over in Laisterdyke, Fearnville Primary School has benefitted from a new sensory garden and new all-weather surfacing so the nursery children can enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather.

Millie Brook, Assistant Headteacher at Fearnville Primary School, said:

We are so fortunate to have been able to work with Better Place to create a magical sensory garden for the children in our nursery. The whole team created a vision that surpassed our expectations and we’re absolutely thrilled with the results. The children are loving exploring their senses in all aspects of the garden and we're really thankful we were able to become involved with this project.

Adele Adams, Project Manager, Better Place, said:

It has been an absolute joy to witness the children’s little faces light up with excitement as they explore their new interactive learning and play spaces that encourage curiosity, problem-solving, and social interaction. Better Place firmly believe that nurturing a love for learning, playing outdoors and exploration from an early age sets a strong foundation for little ones’ futures.

The success of these projects would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of the nursery schools and we extend our heartfelt thanks to the nursery schools in the Better Start Bradford area for entrusting us with their visions and allowing us to bring them to life. Together, we have created captivating outdoor environments that inspire young minds and ignite a passion for discovery.

Better Place, a Better Start Bradford project, has invested £200,000 into these transformations across Bradford nursery sites, with financial support and collaboration from the nursery schools, Fruitworks, the Tree for Every Child project and Public Health England.

To find out where else Better Place Bradford have been working their magic across parks, community centres and outdoor spaces across Bradford, please visit

Below is the full list of the nursery sites that have benefitted from Better Place transformations

Westminster Primary School


New den and rubber mulch all-weather surface, with thermoplastic bike skills markings on tarmac.
Bradford Academy Primary


New outside growing space with screening and edible hedge, rockery, new vegetable beds, a sensory bare-foot path and a shade sail shelter.
All Saints Primary School


Completely new surface they can use to bring out their loose parts play.
Feversham Primary School


Extensive play features for climbing, crawling, jumping and hiding. Other features include a sand pit and growing beds.
Fearnville Primary School


New all-weather surfacing and a sensory garden.
Lapage Primary School


A small but perfectly formed garden for sensory stimulation and nature exploration with a mud kitchen, mini-pond full of critters and bare-foot path.
Dixons Marchbank Primary School


Extensive play features including a large den, climbing structure with tunnel and slide, mini-assault course, storytelling area, planting from Tree for Every Child project and a Fruitworks orchard.
Bowling Usher Street


New mural, den and pathways installed.
Canterbury Children’s Centre


Stacking climber installed.
Community Works New surfacing, sand pit, mushroom seats, new outdoor shelter roof so little ones can be shaded and sheltered.

About Better Place

Better Place is identifying and overseeing improvements to local parks and outdoor spaces with the aim of providing a healthier and happier environment for expectant parents, babies, young children and families. The project is also finding ways to reduce exposure to harmful traffic fumes for pregnant women and small children.

The Better Place project is a Better Start Bradford project that is being delivered in collaboration with Bradford Council, Bradford Trident, Groundwork UK, Public Health, voluntary and community sector groups and local people.

Check out our events and activities page to find out what the Better Place Activities team are doing in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.


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Families with children aged 0-3, Exercise and getting outdoors
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The Better Place project is working with local people to create safer, healthier and fun places across the Better Start Bradford area. Where will your next adventure be?

Better Place Outdoor Project Fund

Organisations and community groups can apply for up to £500 to deliver outdoor projects for expectant parents and/or families with 0-3s at Better Place sites!