Plymouth play parks set for investment

CHILDREN across the city will be able to have fit and healthier fun in better play parks, thanks to a near £800,000 investment in outdoor play areas and equipment.

A delegated decision is being signed on Tuesday to give the green light to improvement work that will cover every ward in the city.

Plymouth has 126 play spaces and of these up to 60 of them have been assessed as ‘good’ and ‘very good’ based on Play England’s standards.

Now the drive is on to carry out improvement work to make sure that the quality is improved across the city.

Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport, Housing and Planning, said: “Lots of parents and carers will be delighted with this drive to significantly improve our play areas. But this is not just about play.

“Children who have great places to play outdoors and access to nature, regularly become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems, have more active imaginations, lower stress levels, play more creatively and have greater respect for themselves and others.

“This is about putting the Joint Local Plan into action. We have a very clear policy to provide high quality play spaces within 400m of people’s homes and we are delighted that we are now in a position to deliver this.”

As part of evidence gathering for the Joint Local Plan, the council carried out an assessment of all of its play spaces across the city with 29 out of 126 outdoor play spaces rated as poor or very poor, according to Play England’s quality rating.

Whilst these sites will be targeted for improvement with the addition of new features to include natural play, there are also plans to develop play areas where there are gaps in provision.

Throughout the duration of the project there will be a comprehensive engagement programme. Communities will be actively encouraged to participate in decision making for improvements in their local play spaces.

Total project costs are £783,428 including £283,428 secured from developer contributions.

This decision has been made under executive authority and is subject to call in by scrutiny.