Lincoln
September 2, 2021 3.06 pm

New play area opens to replace Lincoln youth centre destroyed by fire

A grand opening event was held for Phoenix Park

A new play area to replace a burnt down youth centre the St Giles area of Lincoln has been officially opened – five years to the day since the tragic fire.

Police launched an arson investigation after a fire ripped through the St Giles Youth Centre in September 2016. The centre was used to provide a number of services to the local community but remained vacant after the fire.

City of Lincoln Council invited people to have their say on designs before final plans for the play park were submitted. The grand opening was delayed twice due to coronavirus restrictions before finally being held on Thursday, September 2.

A new children’s play area called Phoenix Park opened on the site of the former youth centre, which was destroyed by fire in 2016. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The official opening of Phoenix Park took place on September 2, 2021. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A 3D design image of the Phoenix Park play area.

The official opening at the St Giles Children’s Play Area in Swift Gardens marked the five-year anniversary of the arson attack. The play park is celebrating its first year of operation after its completion by contractor Wicksteed.

It includes a zip line, swings, slides, and other equipment for all ages.

A St Giles community lead on the project, Katie Atkinson organised a naming competition with local children, with the winning name for the play park announced on Thursday as Phoenix Park.

The new play area (pictured) was opened on the five-year anniversary of the arson attack at the St Giles Youth Centre. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Plenty of fun features at Phoenix Park in the St Giles area of Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Marking the official opening of Phoenix Park on September 2, 2021. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The new play area was funded by the county council, although the project cost has not been publicly disclosed.

Insurance monies weren’t enough to cover the cost of a rebuild, but an agreement was made for a transfer of land into city council ownership, and funds to cover the cost of equipment with a long-term maintenance budget.

Aerial shots taken on the morning after the blaze reveal the extent of the damage. | Photo: Gainsborough fire crews

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Mayor of Lincoln Jackie Kirk told The Lincolnite: “It’s tremendous to see the site back in use, after a few years of hefty negotiations with Lincolnshire County Council over the future use of the site and land and agreeing on a sum of money, then a land transfer of ownership to the city [council] from county council.

“The City of Lincoln Council then enlisted a company to design and construct the play equipment, ensuring enough funds were set aside to maintain the play area, a community asset for St Giles and the surrounding area for years ahead.”

The winning name for the play park – Phoenix Park – was chosen by local children. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

City of Council leader Ric Metcalfe and two local residents, who spent two hours cleaning up litter and broken glass at the play park. | Photo: Mayor of Lincoln Jackie Kirk

On Wednesday, September 1, a team of four, including Mayor Kirk, city council leader Ric Metcalfe and two local residents, spent two hours cleaning up all the litter and broken glass from the play park ready for Thursday’s grand opening event.

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