Telford council agrees to spending £750,000 on borough's play areas

Three quarters of a million pounds will be spent on improving play areas after the plan was approved by councillors.

Cash boost for play areas
Cash boost for play areas

Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet has agreed the spending, which it says will be focused on smaller play areas across the borough.

The council has previously agreed to spend £250,000 on improving the play area in Telford Town Park.

The latest £750,000 will be targeted at areas of the borough where improvements to play areas are most needed.

Councillor Carolyn Healy, the authority’s cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said the council had already £2m to spend open spaces and a further £1m to parks specifically.

But, she said that there needed to be a focus on some smaller play areas which need improving.

She said: “It has become apparent that a lot of small play areas in the heart of people’s communities could do with investment, so this investment package has been brought forward for that purpose.

“This is a foundation area for me, if we get things right here we can reduce some issues further down the line.

“Children out taking part in active play are less likely to be obese and have problems later in life.

“Children who take part in good activities in their communities with natural play areas, use safe spaces, are less likely to get in trouble and involved in crime.

“There are all sorts of positive benefits to investing in our play areas.”

Councillor Healy said there were also benefits for families who were struggling for money with the cost of living crisis.

She said: “We want to make sure families can have a good day out at no cost.”

The move was backed by fellow cabinet members with Councillor Eileen Callear, cabinet member for visitor economy, employment and skills, saying: “It goes alongside thinks like our 10x10 scheme, these areas are not just about playing, they create the building blocks for our young people growing up.”

Councillor Kelly Middleton, cabinet member for leisure, public health and well-being, equalities and partnerships, added: “Just being out and active in the community, it is vitally important to invest in our young people.”

The report agreed by the council said the authority would also look to team up with parish and town councils to provide improvements.

It stated: “In delivering this investment, the council will continue to work in partnership with town and parish councils, while seeking opportunities for joint investment where possible.

“In addition to this, each ward member has been given £10,000 of funding for projects within their ward and we will continue to consult with ward members to explore opportunities for them to invest further into local play areas to add value to the council’s £750,000 investment.”

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