In 2007 Ed Balls, following on from the National Play Strategy announced Government Funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families to ‘build or upgrade more than 3,500 play areas across the country’.
- Part of this funding has come through to Birmingham under the ‘Playbuilder’ Project. This consists of 2 years of funding to upgrade play provision: 11 sites during 2009-2010 and 11 the following year.
- The emphasis of the Playbuilder Project is on creating play provision for the 8 to 13 year old age group. The feature should be as naturalistic as possible, should be challenging and should provide for variations in the local young population eg disabled children, new arrivers and majority ethnic groups in the neighbourhood.
- The schemes are being designed by The Landscape Practice Group – Birmingham City Council’s in-house design service.
- Play England are facilitating and monitoring the Playbuilder project and will be expecting to see a very high level of evaluation and consultation involving local children. Council Officers from each Constituency with expertise in Play provision will be leading on these consultations with the co-operation of project designers and local community groups and charitable organisations. Each of the projects has already been assigned to a Landscape Architect.
Year 1 sites have been selected as follows:
1 Senneleys Park
2 Warren Farm (Conker) Island
3 Larches Green
4 Ward End Park
5 Kingston Hill Recreation Ground
6 Fiveways Pocket Park – match funding
7 Red Hill Grove
8 Sandwell Recreation Ground match funding
9 Hazelwell Park
10 Springfield Crescent, Stephens Road POS
11 The Ackers
12 Berkeley Road match funding
Year 2 sites will be selected during the next few months. They are likely to be unevenly spread across the Constituencies according to gaps in provision. It is also a requirement of the Playbuilder Grant that we explore the possibility of targeting some of the funding towards the voluntary and charitable sectors.
Watch out for further bulletins and updates