From Al’s to Owls: New £1million play area in Barkingside named

After suggestions were submitted from children across the borough, a new indoor play centre in Barkingside has been named.

Owls Play Centre, in Forest Road, will replace Al’s Barn which first opened on the site in the 1980s, but was forced to close seven years ago.

At the time, Redbridge Council had no funds available to replace the old fittings to make the centre safe.

Having received several suggestions, it was decided the name should recognise the various species of bird that live at Fairlop Waters in the title and logo.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “Building works are progressing and we are still aiming for an opening prior to Christmas 2013.”

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The £1million project has been part funded by Vision Redbridge, Culture and Leisure (VRCL) to the tune of £500,000, which will cover the cost to fit out the centre, including play equipment.

The rest will be funded by the council, who VRCL will aim to repay over five years.

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