East Staffordshire Borough Council announces £250K to improve play areas

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s innovative Ward Enhancement Programme Panel (WEP) has now met three times and reviewed its very successful start since May 2023. One of the issues that stands out is the need for children's play spaces to be improved. This is a borough-wide problem.

After a review, it has been decided to dedicate a significant sum of Ward Enhancement Programme funding to this need. Talks have also begun, within the authority, to discover whether there is any additional funding that could be used to match the funding proposed.

Cllr Rob Hawkins, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said: "This exciting idea came out of a discussion within the WEP awarding Panel.  After consultation with the Head of Service, I decided to dedicate £250,000 of WEP funding to a borough-wide scheme that ensures that, at least, one play area in every ward will be upgraded. 

I am also seeking more funding, from within the authority, to give this project even greater impetus.

I think this project is very exciting and would not have been possible without the administration deciding to allocate £1.5 million, from the UK Prosperity Fund towards enhancing facilities in our wards.

There is nothing more important than play, especially for young children. It is health-giving, fun and leads to a sense of well-being. It supports their physical development and social skills. So, it is absolutely right that we should spend this money on play spaces.

Even with this development, the Ward Enhancement Fund will still have £750,000 to award as grants in 2024/25, so I am encouraging community groups to keep the bids coming".

In addition to the enhancements to play provision that the WEP will provide, the Council has also been successful in obtaining grant funding through the Countywide Health Inequalities Group. This funding will provide a further £140,000 to support the installation of inclusive play equipment in both Burton upon Trent and Uttoxeter, this coming year supporting the Council’s ambition to improve play provision in parks across the Borough.

For more information and to apply for the Ward Enhancement Programme, please visit the Council’s website.