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Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many Zoneparcs are in operation; and how much funding for these projects has been (a) allocated and (b) spent to date. (240336)

The Youth Sport Trust have advised that the budget for Zoneparc between 2004 and 2007 was £8,250,000 and has all been spent. This has resulted in a total of 425 Zoneparcs being set up.

Zoneparc was a playground project aimed at tackling social exclusion and increasing activity levels of young people by introducing innovative break time activities and playground management systems to make break times safer and more fun for everyone in the school.

There is currently no more planned funding. However, the Department for Children, Schools and Families Children’s Plan sets out a new agenda on how Government will support children with the biggest ever investment in play of £225 million. In April 2008 this was increased by an additional £10 million—a vital investment to support the development of more stimulating play facilities for children which children and families have told us they want to see.

An offer of capital funding will be made to every local authority in England to support the delivery of stimulating local places to play. The £235 million will fund 30 new adventure playgrounds or play parks, and up to 3,500 play areas nationally will be rebuilt or renewed. We expect these to be fun, stimulating, accessible places to play. We want these to be inclusive for all children, including disabled children, and aimed particularly at 8 to 13-year-olds and those living in disadvantaged areas.