Revitalising Ladybarn Community Park with Innovative Multi-Use Games Areas Design

Revitalising Ladybarn Community Park with Innovative Multi-Use Games Areas Design


AMV Playgrounds partnered with 'City in the Community' to revitalise Ladybarn Park by introducing a state-of-the-art Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) as part of the 'PlayZones' Initiative. This initiative aimed to transform existing public spaces into vibrant recreational hubs, fostering community well-being through accessible and free football facilities.

The Setting

Ladybarn Park was selected alongside Scotland Hall Road Park after a robust research project, which saw the charity consult with councils, residents, Official Supporters Clubs, fans, schools, youth centre, residents, and funders across all Manchester regions. Ladybarn Park is situated in the heart of Manchester and has long been a hub for community gatherings and outdoor activities.

The Solution

AMV Playgrounds conducted a comprehensive assessment of the park's existing infrastructure and consulted with City in the Community after their discussions with local stakeholders, residents, and community groups, to help identify specific requirements and preferences, that would inform the design and layout of the MUGA.
The new design had a mix of both large full-size goals and smaller 5-a-side style units for playing across the pitch, enabling multiple games to be played at once as well as catering for various age ranges. Whilst high sports rebound fence panels were used above and either side of all goals for ball containment, there are various open breaks in the perimeter fence line, allowing multiple points of access on and off the court, creating a more informal and free flowing space and an accessibility features that ensure individuals with disabilities can also participate fully.
The client expressed a clear desire for realistic goal experiences, emphasising the sensation of a ball hitting a net when scoring, rather than rebounding off a steel grill. However, there was concern about the susceptibility of conventional sports netting to vandalism and damage in a public urban environment. To address this challenge, AMV considered the design request alongside the need for durability. They repurposed heavy-duty steel core cargo netting, commonly found in playground climbing equipment, to create goals with the right tension for a football stadium-like experience.

For ball control and one-on-one play, AMV engineered a low-level circular panna arena using heavy-duty steel grill, complemented by a passing square. To enhance skills like heading, volleying, and keepy-up, they designed a higher-than-normal "football tennis net" suitable for two players or more, promoting informal play. All steel elements underwent galvanization to prevent rust and corrosion, and polyester powder coating was applied in specific Pantone colours matching Manchester City Football Club's brand.

Every aspect of the MUGA project was meticulously crafted using hi-quality components and durable materials to ensure longevity and minimal maintenance. The area features sports court safety surfacing with multi-sport colour zones and line markings, allowing easy adaptation for various games. 

Items chosen...

  • Bespoke MUGA Design - including 3 pitch layouts
  • Passing Square
  • Panna Circle
  • Football Tennis Steel Net
  • Seating


The collaborative efforts of AMV Playgrounds, 'City in the Community,' and funding partners have transformed Ladybarn Park into a vibrant hub embodying the spirit of the 'PlayZones' Initiative. The availability of high-quality football facilities has empowered local youth to hone their skills, pursue their passion for the sport, and aspire to higher levels of achievement. The MUGA serves as a catalyst for fostering friendships, building networks, and bridging cultural divides, creating a sense of belonging among diverse groups within the community.

For more details please contact or call 01704 898919