City of York Council is set to distribute £175k amongst 26 York play areas, with community partners providing up to £228k in match funding. Communities across the city successfully bid for improvements and new equipment for their local play facilities.
Following the launch of the £100k Community Challenge Fund pot earlier in December, the Council received bids from community groups, local councillors and housing associations for over three times the initially allocated budget, with applications spread across 15 wards.
In order to ensure that as many community areas receive the desired improvements, the existing funding pot of £100k has been increased to £175k to deliver match funding for chosen projects.
An additional £75k is also to be spent on safety surfacing across the city’s play areas.
This play area fund puts the local community energy and expertise at the core of improvements to local play areas, with local children being given a say in choosing what happens to their play area.
Playgrounds are an essential element to the health and development of the mind and body, providing opportunities for children to practice a range of social, emotional, physical and mental skills.
List of the successful bids can be found here: https://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents
Councillor Darryl Smalley, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities, commented:
“I’m delighted that so many communities are set to benefit from this significant investment. By allocating a significantly larger amount to the fund, many more play areas and communities across the city will benefit from this scheme.
“York’s Lib Dem’s have swung into action to improve York’s play areas; working to stop the slide in the quality of our play provision and delivering on a key manifesto commitment.
“Together with this £175k match funding from the Council, over £400k is set to be invested in the city’s play areas. This substantial investment will go a long way to support local community organisations in making big improvements to their local facilities.
“Ensuring we have excellent play areas across the city is crucial in supporting our communities and most importantly, providing safe places for young people to enjoy and develop themselves.
“I would like to thank all those who submitted bids for their involvement in this citywide project, as well as their ongoing work to support their local communities. Let play commence!”