close search

Calthorpe Project: Under-5s play space

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Calthorpe Project: Under-5s play space

Calthorpe Project: Under-5s play space

Variant Office By Variant Office

An exciting redesign of the under-5s play space at the Calthorpe Project based on maximising the play and growing potential, using natural play elements, more plants and new play structures.

Camden Delivery stage

pledged of £76,746

Sorry this project was unsuccessful, we did not reach our fundraising goal.

Calthorpe Project is a vibrant community centre and garden with different pockets of spaces, each with a unique character and use. The under 5’s play space located outside one wing, is overlooked by a play room and decking space. By introducing more plants and growing activities, and increasing the number of natural play elements and materials, we will have an impact on the development of the children and families who use it. The redesign for the space involved two rounds of consultation with users and looking at experiences of natural play and childcare projects that have introduced natural play elements into their daily activities, such as forest schools. The proposals include rearranging the entrance and ramp access to create more playable space, extend the sheltered area, have larger planting and growing areas, introduce a natural play are and messy zone, have a low-level under-5s play structure and a consolidated buggy area.

What we'll deliver:

  • New entrance way with gates and planters
  • Move ramp to side of building
  • Extend planting and growing areas
  • Messy play zone i.e. mud kitchen
  • Low-level under-5s play structure
  • Natural play area
  • New buggy shelter

Why it's a great idea:

The current play area for under-5s at Calthorpe is underused and this exciting redesign led by users and the community will create a larger play space, with natural play elements and growing spaces for children. The aim is that with the redesign the play space will become a destination for families with small children who live in the area and beyond, who will be able to use the childcare and play facilities and will also use the café and other community facilities at the Calthorpe Project. The other activities at Calthorpe, including the co-working spaces, café, the food growing project are all complementary and the improvement of the play area will fit with the wider strategy of the Calthorpe Project as a space in inner city London building a better environmental and social future.

Steps to get it done:

  • Complete detailed designs
  • Prepare materials and build structures off-site
  • Move ramp and create new entrances
  • Build larger planting and seating area
  • Build low-level play structure
  • Build natural play area
  • Extend canopy and decking area
  • Create new buggy area
  • Add new planting

Location Camden

About the space

Custom Location


London Borough of Camden

How will the money be spent?Total £76,745

Play structures - £18,600 (24%)
New ramp - £7,800 (10%)
Deck seating and storage - £7,800 (10%)
Planting and mud kitchen play area - £6,000 (8%)
Design fees (11%) - £5,506 (7%)
Buggy shelter - £5,400 (7%)
Contingency (10%) - £4,550 (6%)
Labour costs - £4,400 (6%)
Demolition work - £4,000 (5%)
Project management - £3,000 (4%)
Other - £9,689 (13%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Play structures
New ramp
Deck seating and storage
Planting and mud kitchen play area
Design fees (11%)
Buggy shelter
Contingency (10%)
Labour costs
Demolition work
Project management
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • New gate entrance
  • Tools for Calthorpe
  • VAT


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • We will be using extra funds to extend the play supervision for under-5s; buy more plants and play equipment; extend the provision of play and growing activities for children to the wider Calthorpe Project area.

Total £76,745

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

Want to help?

Do you have stuff or skills to contribute to this project? Use this tool to offer something to the project creator.

{{comment.UserName}} Creator Backer
{{reply.UserName}} Creator Backer