UK’s largest JCB Young Drivers Zone at Springfields

Case Study

Shopping Area Play Area Lincolnshire

Time for adventures at Springfields Adventure Land

We’re all big kids at Playscheme, and we can’t begin to tell you how excited we were to work with Springfields Outlet Shopping & Leisure Centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire to develop their amazing new Adventure Land – one of our biggest outdoor play projects to date!

The huge new play area is at the heart of a transformation of the site, with the aim of reviving and breathing new life into the shopping destination. Adventure Land offers a fantastic variety of great value family orientated fun, the perfect day out for kids (and big kids!).

JCB Young Drivers Zone

The scheme includes the UK’s largest JCB Young Drivers Zone, giving children an exciting opportunity to drive around in bright yellow, pedal powered mini diggers, enjoy the huge JCB slide, scaffold-themed climbing frame and use their imagination on many other unique interactive play equipment.

JCB is such an iconic brand and we had to be very careful when planning and developing the play area to make sure all of the equipment fit the brand, even down to the ‘JCB Yellow’ colouring!  This meant working closely with both Springfields and JCB to create a unified range of bespoke themed play equipment for children up to the age of 12 to experience. We are extremely proud to say that we have received JCB’s official seal of approval! This included a life size pair of JCB digger excavation arms that were intricately laser cut to act as an archway entrance to the zone, all adding to the fun and authenticity of the play area.

The JCB Yong Drivers Zone is a journey undertaken by the new ‘employees’ to the building site. They will be inducted into the zone, where they learn the site rules are given their PPE (Hi-Viz jackets and hard hats) before taking off on their pedal powered mini-diggers. The site is mainly dedicated to a Wet pour rubber roadway for the new workers to navigate, where they can fill up at the fuel station, park up at the local grocery store or take their digger off roading!

The zone even features the JCB logo in the Wet pour. We needed to make sure the logo was perfectly accurate, and so a full size template was laser cut from steel to cut around and then different colours of rubber crumb and glue were poured in to create the finished logo.

Playscheme designed a ‘Half Built House’ – created to look as though work is still underway on a building site, the huge slide coming down from the house replicate the refuse chute, the higher levels are surrounded by scaffolding fully accessible for the children to add to the façade of the building site.

No request too big for Playscheme, when we got on site and started to construct the building, Springfield liked the design so much they wanted to increase the visibility from right the way across the shopping centre. To our delight they requested a whole extra level increasing the overall height of the house from 4.8m to 6.0m – Making it taller than your average house!

To maximise the full use of space plenty of additional play experiences were incorporated into the JCB zone, a 7m Bouldering Wall, sand play area with cement mixer, JCB timber excavator with slide and plenty of hard and soft landscaping embellishments – Tunnels, mounds, log retention and seating.

Springy’s Beach

One of the greatest challenges in running a successful Family Entertainment Centre in the UK is the great British weather! Creating an exciting space at Springfields where play can be accessed all times of the year was one of the main requirements for the shopping outlet.

Springy’s Beach has a sand play area and rock pool river system which are covered by a huge canopy so that the fun can continue in rain or shine. The whole 20m x 20m canopy structure was assembled in just 5 days!

As well as including traditional play items such as a tower system with slide and group swings, a unique cascading water system flows under the canopy, making this far different from your average play area!

Cross the bowed timber bridge into the sand pit to admire this beautifully cobbled stream leading to rock pools, it is without doubt one of our favourite water installations to date. This water feature provides the chance for children to control the system’s flow, with a sluice gate at the gateway to each pool. This gives children the opportunity to fill up the rock pools, before opening the gate and releasing the water down-stream into the next pool!

Goldie’s Gold Mine

Search for treasure as you gold pan at Goldie’s. Troughs are filled with water, sand and “treasure” once you have finished collecting take your treasure and receive your prize. The Gold Panning area was one of the final elements of the leisure area to be developed, the main structure and water tower are manufactured from wobbly Robinia timbers, with a cedar shingle roofs. Complete with sound effects and lighting!

Dino Golf

Springfields already had a well-used crazy golf course which required a complete overhaul to bring it back to its original glory. Playscheme was able to breathe a new lease of life into this space by replacing and refurbishing the hard landscaping, 216m2 of artificial grass and 9 putting holes. The dinosaurs in the area received a bit of TLC too, our in house theming specialist was able to patch up the casualties and make them look 10 years younger!

Tree Top Village

Enter the Tree Top Village by crossing over the railway line into the forest. Start your adventure by exploring down at ground level in the hobbit hole, a rustically crafted underground den perfect for inspiring big imaginations and setting the scene for the woodland adventure ahead.

The Tree Top Village comprises of four enormous timber towers linked with a variety of different nets, bridges and fully enclosed wobble ropes. Each tower has a rustic cedar shingle roof and coloured Perspex windows, when the sun shines they cast magical light reflections into the towers, adding to the fairy-tale of the tree top village.

The star attraction is definitely the forest floor sky net which is suspended between the towers and woodland trees, allowing children and adults to navigate their way through the tree canopy. The net is approximately 100 square meters of play netting, Playscheme is the one stop shop for design, manufacture and installation of this style of nets in the whole of the UK!

The towers were partially constructed off site at our workshop in Elvington, York, then delivered in sections to Springfield’s to be assembled. They had to be built outside because they were too tall for the workshop! The tallest tower with the spire is a huge 9.0m high. Each unit is installed on a concrete pad with 6 steel feet.

One of our biggest outdoor play projects to date!

The Springfields Adventure Land play area has been one of our biggest, most challenging, fun design and builds to work on, and we worked through all of the seasons to complete the project.

When we first started the installation at Springfields we were wearing thermals and woolly hats, and by the end we were in shorts, t-shirts and sunscreen!

Our cracking team of roughly 15 people each day for around 150 days saw us drink somewhere in the region of 9,000 cups of coffee – great news for the nearby businesses keeping our caffeine levels up!

This project tested us in lots of ways – we even had to remove some existing residents from the site on the back of a flatbed truck. These prehistoric pals have now been rehomed into the crazy golf area, and they’re very happy in their landscaped prehistoric gardens!

Playscheme Director, Steve Danby said: “We’re extremely grateful to Springfields for allowing us to let our creativity run free during the design of this project, it’s been an incredible journey and we are delighted to have developed a solid friendship with Springfields and SLR Outlets over the 2 year design, manufacture and installation.”