Appeal raises £10k towards pop-up playground outside school in Bow

children play in the street

Parents, teachers and pupils at Chisenhale Primary in Bow want to turn a stretch of the road outside the school into a pop-up playground. - Credit: Chris Burman/ 2020

A fund has raised almost £10,000 to turn part of a road into a pop-up playground.

Parents and teachers at Chisenhale Primary in Bow are to turn the junction between Vivian Road and Chisenhale Road into a space which would allow longer playtimes and PE lessons.

The area would also be used as a pocket park, arts workshops and street dance if the group succeeds.

chisenhale road pop up playground cgi

A computer generated image showing how the scheme could look. - Credit: Chris Burman/ 2020

Dr Rob Hughes, a parent governor and public health researcher, said: "Covid-19 has been a disaster for so many, including our children.

"We need to get them back to school safely and part of that is about giving them enough outdoor space to play and learn safely.

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"As car ownership falls, we really need to think again about how best to use this space. We hope this pop-up playground and parklet can be an example of this."

The closure of streets in the East End has not been without controversy. Critics have claimed schemes banishing traffic permanently from parts of Shoreditch, Bethnal Green and Bow discriminate against ethnic minority families and car owners.  

But so far 77 backers have donated £9,899 towards the Chisenhale Road project with a few days left before the fundraising is due to end. Chisenhale Dance Space, Chisenhale Gallery and Chisenhale Studios back the idea too.

Fundraisers hope their efforts will encourage active travel, make the area greener and provide community space.

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The school says the extra room would allow year group bubbles more playtime.

Mum Sophie Timson said: "It's a great opportunity to transform the street, prioritise people and add some colour and excitement.

"The children especially are fascinated and excited by the prospect of taking over the street to play in."

Pearl, in Year 1 at the school, said: "We have a small playground, so having more space will mean we can run more with friends and do fun stuff."

The scheme will lead to the closure of a stretch of Chisenhale Road between Vivian Road and Zealand Road to all but emergency vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles.

A section of Vivian Road also becomes one way.

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