Government needs to do more to offset decline in play spaces

The Association of Play Industries (API) has welcomed the £13m government pledge to help improve Britain’s parks but says a sustained commitment is needed to offset years of decline.


  • Last month, the government announced £9.7m for councils to maintain, protect and increase recreational spaces, from day-to-day maintenance costs to playground repairs and the creation of new green spaces.
  • An additional £2.75m will be made available for the pocket parks plus programme to support communities to transform neglected and derelict spaces.
  • A further £1.2m has been provided to the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Future Parks Accelerator initiative, which supports local authorities to test new approaches to managing and funding parks.

A social & health investment

Hardy points out “We need a clear, unequivocal and long-term commitment to play and activity in the UK and the benefits it brings to young people. An investment now of £100m would provide a further 1,600 playgrounds and play spaces – which is only a 10 per cent rise on the number that local authorities reported to be running in 2011. However, the long-term savings made by government in terms of children’s physical and mental health and the cohesion of communities, would far offset this relatively modest investment.”


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