10 March 2010

Nine local communities across Northamptonshire are to benefit from new or refurbished playspaces thanks to the national Playbuilder programme.

Over £1 million of government money was awarded to Northamptonshire County Council in 2008 for a three-year programme which would result in the creation or refurbishment of 22 innovative children’s play areas countywide, as part of the national focus on outdoor play.

The county has exceeded this target and by the end of the scheme, 25 Playbuilder play areas will have been successfully created in partnership with children, young people and local communities.

Northamptonshire County Council has been working with borough, district and parish councils and community groups and now, the county council has announced the successful applications which have been allocated grants in this the final year of funding. Grants totalling just over £443,000 have been awarded to:

  • Dallington Park, Northampton
  • Lings Playing Field Play Space, Northampton
  • Ruston Road, Desborough
  • Milton Malsor Play Space Project
  • Gretton Adventure Play Area
  • Growing Space, Scaldwell
  • The New Dick Venes Play Area, Boughton
  • It’s our Space, Collyweston
  • Stay n Play, Little Harrowden

The teams behind each of the projects will now be working with Northamptonshire County Council to develop their plans for inclusive play environments.

The nine new Playbuilder projects join the existing sixteen already supported through the first and second phase of the funding.

The aim of the Playbuilder initiative is to develop challenging and innovative play spaces for young people. Outdoor play is an important part of every child’s life as play opportunities can keep children active, healthy and happy.

Each new play space will be targeted at children and young people aged 8-13 years providing an inclusive play area close to where they live, offering exciting, active and adventurous play.

The projects have already been working with their communities in developing their local play spaces, involving parents, families and local residents. Children aged between 8 and 13 have been invited to share their ideas on what types of play experiences they would like, the design of the play spaces and where they should be located. This involvement will be continued throughout the development and installation of the play spaces.

The applications were judged on a variety of criteria including innovation, engagement, access for all and operational sustainability.

Applications were assessed by a grants panel which included Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) representatives and independent external representatives.

The Playbuilder money comes from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Additional information:

Playbuilder is a scheme funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) which aims to change the way that play spaces are commissioned , designed and developed.

A total of £1.1 million was awarded for playschemes in Northamptonshire. The new nine Playbuilder projects will add to the nine already supported through the second phase of the funding, which are just coming to completion 2009/March 2010:

  • Earls Barton Recreation Field
  • Sywell Playing Field/Play Space
  • Kingsthorpe Recreation Ground - Tree Top Village
  • Northampton Racecourse Adventure Play Project
  • Play East Haddon
  • Harpole Playing Fields Association Playground Project
  • Spring Rise Park, Kettering
  • Abington Play Space, Corby
  • Cransley Gardens, Corby

In addition, there have been seven projects completed during phase one 2008/March 2009:

  • Glastonbury Road, Corby
  • Ollerton Walk Play Site, Corby
  • Stephenson Way, Corby
  • Greening Road Park, Rothwell
  • Eastfield Park Adventure Play Area, Northampton
  • Humphries Drive, Brackley
  • Bassfords Recreation Ground, Raunds