Plans to refurbish some of Swindon’s play parks will go ahead after the Government announced it would provide the majority of funding promised after money was clawed back after May’s general election.
Swindon Borough Council feared it would lose the remainder of the money to revamp 22 play areas in the town as part of the Government’s Comprehensive Saving Review. But in a letter to the council this week, Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove said the Government would give the authority £403,000 of the £550,000 in second phase funding.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, wrote to Mr Gove in July to impress upon him the need to continue with the Playbuilder Project.
St Mark’s Recreation Ground was the first of the play areas to be refurbished in August last year as part of an overall £1.1m programme. So far 12 play areas across the borough have been refurbished thanks to the project, which aims to transform parks that are run down or out-of-date and make them exciting, challenging and better equipped for children’s needs.
A refurbishment programme for the remaining play areas will be drawn up by the end of October.
Pictured right, the last play area at Shaw Ridge to be completed before the spending freeze came down. The slide in the collage was destroyed by vandals in early September
Cllr Williams said: “I’m delighted the Government has recognised how important these play areas are to local communities. We argued our case strongly to Mr Gove and, while we haven’t received the full amount we were hoping for, it allows us to complete the work on three of our remaining five play areas.
“But we won’t forget about the play areas at Northview and Maunsell Way and are determined the work will be carried out as soon as funding becomes available.”