Space themed play area lands at Heaton Park, Manchester


The timber structures in Heaton Park’s play area had begun to rot, including a 10m high tower with an 8m high slide.

After consultation with Manchester City Council, we suggested that the large slide be dismantled and saved for installation onto a new tower that we would design specifically for the park.

As this structure was in Manchester’s largest park, it needed to have real wow factor.  The concept of the UFO was presented as a modern update to the old tower and funding was secured.

Additional funding was also secured to carry out a comprehensive redevelopment of the entire play area with a ‘Space’ theme being chosen as the basis for further design ideas.


Bespoke designs were created for a Toddler Space Station Play Unit, a Wheelchair Accessible Roundabout with orbiting planets, space themed educational play panels and, of course, the giant 9.5m high UFO with Air Lock Access Tower.

The scheme also included new Swings, Spinners and Springies and new safety surfacing throughout.

An area of artificial grass with boulders was also included as an informal place to play and sit in the shade of the trees.


The UFO has been particularly well received and makes the play area a real destination location.

By reusing and modifying the slide, a significant saving was made on the overall cost of the UFO.

The play area is used by large numbers of children over the course of the year and there are now a real variety of play features to excite all ages of children for years to come.


Find out more about the elements in this play design below.



Climbers and play units

Seesaws and springers


"Massey & Harris worked well with the client team & in meeting the brief realising a completely bespoke design for Heaton Park, which is what it needed as a destination park. I particularly liked the uniqueness of the design & it has proved a huge success with all users."

- Kevin Shackell

Find out more about our Space themed play area lands at Heaton Park, Manchester