Cuts Watch #28: Cuts in funding for children’s playgrounds
£5 million is being cut from England’s Play Strategy – which aims to improve children’s play facilities and build new adventure playgrounds. Children and Young People Now report that while the capital budget is not facing direct cuts savings will have to be made from the rest of the funding pot, which includes money for staffing refurbished play facilities. In addition, Play England (which is also facing further as yet unspecified cuts) has highlighted that as grants to local authorites are no longer ringfenced, it is likely that some will now chose not to use the money provided by the strategy for building new play areas.
In response to suggestions last week that play funding could be cut, Play England’s Director, Adrian Voce, stated that:
“The play strategy has so far produced 2,000 new or improved play areas and 30 fantastic staffed adventure playgrounds…This translates as hundreds of thousands of children having the healthy, outdoor activities that they long for and that every parent knows is good for them. Research tells us that in terms of impact on children’s health, learning and wider benefits to the whole community such as the reduction in crime, the play strategy has demonstrated excellent value for money and real benefit to the economy.”