Skip to main content

Recreation Spaces: Finance

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which local authorities (a) were invited to and (b) submitted a bid to become a play pathfinder; and if he will make a statement. (194188)

The following 65 local authorities in England have been invited to bid to become play pathfinders. They are listed by region. Almost all authorities invited to submit a bid will be doing so. DCSF will be considering bids shortly.

Statement

15 local authorities will be selected as play pathfinders from April 2008. Successful bids will demonstrate proposals for safe, inclusive play areas that offer exciting and stimulating opportunities and sit within a wider strategic approach to deliver a sustainable and far-reaching play agenda. The bids will also clearly demonstrate how local authorities will work with children, their local communities and local MPs.

Play pathfinders will each receive around £2 million capital funding plus significant revenue funding. These play pathfinders will work with children, young people and their communities to develop innovative play sites with challenging equipment and natural landscapes, which will give all children the opportunity to play actively outdoors. The play sites will also be accessible for disabled children. The bids should include plans for building a new staffed adventure playground, with indoor and outdoor facilities, specifically aimed at improving play opportunities for eight to 13-year-olds where they currently lack places to go and things to do, and often in disadvantaged areas.

Any of the 65 local authorities who are unsuccessful in becoming a pathfinder, but who submit satisfactory bids, will be offered capital funding of approximately £1 million to become ‘playbuilders’, to develop public play areas, with the first allocations starting April 2008. This will support our aim of developing up to 3,500 public play areas by 2011. By 2010 all local authorities will have been offered capital funding and a chance to be a part of this agenda in partnership with their local communities.

A second round of pathfinder bidding will take place autumn 2008 and this will be open for all local authorities to apply. A further 15 play pathfinders will be selected so that by 2011, 30 pathfinders in total will deliver 30 new adventure playgrounds.

List of 65 local authorities in England invited to bid to become play pathfinders

North East

Durham

Gateshead

Middlesbrough

Newcastle

North Tyneside

Northumberland

Stockton

Sunderland

North West

Blackburn with Darwen

Blackpool

Bolton

Bury

Halton

Knowsley

Lancashire

Rochdale

Sefton

Thameside

Yorkshire and Humberside

Calderdale

East Riding

Kirklees

Rotherham

East Midlands

Derby

Leicester

Lincolnshire

Northamptonshire

Nottingham

Nottinghamshire

West Midlands

Coventry

Dudley

Solihull

Staffordshire

Wolverhampton

Worcestershire

East Cambridge

Luton

Peterborough

Southend

Suffolk

Thurrock

South East

East Sussex

Hampshire

Oxfordshire

Portsmouth

Reading

Slough

Southampton

South West

Bath and North East Somerset

Bristol

Cornwall

Plymouth

Somerset

London

Brent

Camden

Croydon

Enfield

Hackney

Islington

Kensington and Chelsea

Lambeth

Lewisham

Redbridge

Southwark

Tower Hamlets