Residents at one of London’s biggest regeneration schemes came together to celebrate the opening of a new play park in the east side of Gascoigne Neighbourhood in Barking.

A fun-filled family afternoon saw plenty of people turn out to take part in activities, including the ‘Community Wishes’ art project by local organisation Studio 3 Arts, getting children involved with arts and crafts, as well as Frostie the Entertainer performing a mesmerising magic show, who also got people chuckling with a few jokes, and started a Disney singalong.

There was facepainting, food and drink trucks, and music to keep the party going all afternoon.

To celebrate the opening of the park, Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking & Dagenham Council, and Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Economic Development, joined local residents for a tour and to enjoy the festivities.

The Party in the Park event was a great opportunity for residents to experience and celebrate the opening of the new play park on a sunny day. The new area provides a beautiful space for residents to enjoy, including a playground, basketball court, several benches, and lots of greenery with a mix of trees, bushes and shrubs.

So far, 1,016 homes have been delivered on the Gascoigne Neighbourhood with more still to come. 85% of homes built have gone to local families.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking & Dagenham Council, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to open this new park as part of the award-winning regeneration of the eastern side of the Gascoigne Neighbourhood. It’s wonderful to see all the local residents come out and enjoy the space – the transformation is driven by our desire to deliver a safer, healthier, and more sustainably designed home for everyone here.

“And it’s not just homes we’re committed to providing for residents, it’s community spaces like this park too, where families can come together and enjoy themselves for many years to come.”

The event was arranged by Be First, the urban regeneration arm of Barking & Dagenham Council that is leading the transformation of Gascoigne Neighbourhood, in partnership with Willmott Dixon – the main contractor at Gascoigne East.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Economic Development, said: “The Gascoigne Neighbourhood is one of our flagship projects and we’re proud to deliver high-quality new homes for people in a well-designed, attractive community.

“The wider Gascoigne East Neighbourhood includes tree-lined public spaces, a new 5,290 sqm park with extensive planting along with stunning designs in a mixture of traditional and modern styles.”

Steve Kitchen, Director at Willmott Dixon said:

“We’re delighted to celebrate the opening of this fantastic new facility for the residents at Gascoigne East. It was fantastic to be joined by so many of the local community to enjoy a sunshine-filled afternoon of fun activities in the park itself. We’re incredibly proud to have played our part in the transformation of Gascoigne East and to be able to leave a lasting legacy as we hand back over to the community.”