Kaity, of Lalor, will be one of many to use the new playground that will be built by mid-2022 as part of the Whittlesea Public Gardens redevelopment.

Whittlesea Public Gardens in Lalor will be extensively relandscaped and redeveloped into an outdoor recreation hub, with construction set to start later this year.

Signalling a new era for the popular park that was built in the 1990s, City of Whittlesea administrators say the upgrade will restore the park to its former glory, re-energise the area and create a modern space for residents and families.

At the most recent council meeting, council divided and awarded the construction contracts, with the redevelopment to be delivered in stages. The first stage is expected to be complete by mid-2022.

The first stage will include a new playground equipped with a large play tower, double flying fox, rope climbing unit, swings, slides, in-ground trampolines, rockers and nature play.

A new learn-to-ride area will help children learn how to ride bikes, scooters or roller-skate safely on mini roundabouts, speed bumps, intersections and crossings.

Future stages will include a skate park, upgrade to the dog off-leash area, rock climbing wall, basketball courts and outdoor fitness equipment.

City of Whittlesea Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the redevelopment of Whittlesea Public Gardens would reflect the changing recreation needs of the Lalor and Thomastown community.

“It certainly is going to be transformational for this particular, very important and well-used space that clearly has been a gathering place for the communities of Lalor and Thomastown for many, many years, and hence that sense of starting to return the public parks to their former glory,” she said.

“We look forward to celebrating the rich history of the site by reimagining its most popular features including the lake, wetlands and play area and welcoming a new generation of Lalor and Thomastown residents to Whittlesea Public Gardens.”

Stage one of the redevelopment is estimated to cost more than $3 million.

Council’s $2 million investment into the first stage of the transformation is supported by a further $2 million contribution from the State Government.

For more information about this project, visit www.engage.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/whittlesea-public-gardens.