The Government has been urged to invest £100m in play provision to avoid a ‘catastrophic’ impact on children’s health by the Association of Play Industries (API).
The API has written to the prime minister urging him to also set out when and how public playgrounds will reopen.
The letter argues that children’s need for play has been ‘airbrushed’ out of the lockdown roadmap.
Chair of the API, Mark Hardy, said: ‘Children have been in lockdown for months, many with limited or no outside space.
’It is astonishing that the UK Government has made no mention of re-opening public playgrounds, despite their emphasis on opening up other arguably less important outdoor activities.’
A recent survey showed that 72% of parents of children with health issues such as obesity say that a lack of outdoor play facilities in their areas has played a role in their children’s problems.
Mr Hardy added: ‘We are giving the Government notice now of the catastrophic impact on children’s health unless there is targeted support for our small but vital industry. There is increasing evidence that local authority budgets for public playgrounds will be slashed even further, with devastating, irreversible consequences and significant job losses in the sector.’