21 Jul 2022
HUB celebrates the opening of The Queen’s Gardens, Croydon's most central park
The Queen’s Gardens, Croydon's most central park, officially re-opened to the public, following major renovations as part of HUB's regeneration of the area.
The new designs combine woodland-themed planting with play equipment for different ages and abilities. The gardens are more accessible and safer, and now provide a cycle and pedestrian link between Fairfield Halls and the Town Hall.
HUB's community engagement for the project gathered feedback from over 1,500 residents, and then formed a community co-design group to develop for the park. Residents wanted a woodland feel to the planting scheme, with lots of low maintenance grassy areas that would attract insects.
As a result, the new green space has been revitalised with planting, including 39 new trees, as well as a range of native and non-native plant species. This will provide a nature-rich environment year-round – with special attention paid to plants that encourage pollinators.
The new playground is a key feature of the project, and was designed using a variety of timber elements incorporating abstract features, to bring about a flexible and inclusive feel, with a Secret Garden play structure.
The lower part of The Queen’s Gardens play area provides play equipment for younger children, using soft material to create mounds, while the upper area provides play equipment for older children. Features include: a sunken trampoline, horizontal bars, balance beam, monkey bars, shimmy ropes, a Cantilever swing, a timber slide and a toddler slide.
The renovations were part of the larger Queen’s Quarter development plans. which saw HUB and specialist social impact investor Bridges Fund Management complete a 513-home development in the town centre.
The landmark scheme, comprising four blocks of 35, 21, 19 and 13 storeys, was designed by the Stirling prize-winning AHMM, whilst the revamped gardens were designed by renowned landscape architecture practice Grant Associates.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon, said: The Queen’s Gardens is a much-valued park in the heart of our town centre, so it’s great to see it back open and reimagined for residents and visitors to enjoy. This project is a great example of partnership work with local people to co-design a really exciting new public space, for residents of all ages to enjoy.”
Lynne Hayle, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Homes, said: “I was delighted to open The Queen’s Gardens today, as this historic park is such a cherished part of Croydon’s town centre. Children are already making use of the new playground – and it is wonderful to hear the sound of play in a safe, clean and green environment.... this is a great step toward the much-needed revitalisation of our town centre.”
Damien Sharkey, Managing Director of HUB, said: “Queen’s Quarter is our most significant project to date, and is testament to what can be achieved when developers and design teams really listen to what communities want and need. This project creates a new landmark for Croydon’s town centre, setting a benchmark for regeneration in the area that benefits not just its residents, but also its neighbours.
As well as delivering high quality, affordable homes for the people of Croydon, we had the opportunity to make a wider impact with the transformation of The Queen’s Gardens, which is now a wonderful community asset for generations of local people to come. We are now more conscious than ever of the vital importance of access to green space, and we are hugely excited to welcome the people of Croydon to their new park.”