Laura Sharman 12 November 2018

Councils forced to close nearly 350 playgrounds in past four years

Councils forced to close nearly 350 playgrounds in past four years image

Councils have been forced to close 347 playgrounds across England since 2014, new research has revealed.

A freedom of information request by the Association of Play Industries (API) found 70 playgrounds have been closed in 2017/18 alone.

Local authorities are also spending £13m less each year on playgrounds on average.

The research also found that by 2020/21, local authorities expect to spend 44% less on play facilities, which is a decrease of £25m.

‘Something we all took for granted – safe, local and free spaces in which to play – is disappearing,’ said Mark Hardy from the API.

‘Our latest research shows a very worrying picture indeed and, unless action is taken now, it seems we are in danger of losing playgrounds. Let’s not forget that when a playground is neglected and closed it is often lost forever.’

In competition with the PWLB image

In competition with the PWLB

Christian Wall considers what alternative funding channels are available to local authorities beyond the Public Works Loan Board.
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