HEATON Park is heading for a transformation as it gets a new play area, thanks to a £500,000 investment.

The play area, set to open in Spring 2019, is the second in the park and will be located to the south of the 600 acre site.

Incorporating challenging, creative and fun play features in a woodland environment, the play area brings together visitor's top five ways to play: exploring and finding, sliding, swinging, jumping and splashing — identified through a survey last summer.

Manchester Council's Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “We know how much children love to spend time in Heaton Park, so we’re investing in a new play area which will become the centre of many a great family day out for years to come.

“Our survey made it clear that children value play which gives them the chance to be imaginative as well as active, so we're creating a facility which will allow them to explore and be curious about the natural world in a safe setting."

The project is being funded through the Clean City scheme and designed by award-winning landscape architects Davies White Ltd, with Tom Gill who has previously worked on the London Olympic Park.

Current designs provisionally feature tree houses, a stream, trampolines, swings, slides and materials for children to build wooden dens.

The play area will also boast accessible features to ensure as many children can enjoy it as possible.

Cllr Rahman said: “Playing in the great outdoors helps our children to learn, develop new skills and make new friends, while boosting their physical and mental health. So it’s important that we provide this new facility, which will be a brilliant addition to the popular attractions on offer within one of the most impressive parks in the UK.”

Laying near to Heaton Park boating lake it will sit close to existing facilities including the Lakeside Cafe, boat hire, seasonal fairground space and tram route.

It will also compliment the northern play area, which was refurbished in 2016, and includes a giant UFO-themed tower slide.