Proposals for a new £6.4m capital investment programme into improving the district’s playgrounds and outdoor fitness facilities will go to Bradford Council’s Executive on 7 January.
It is part of a £20m strategy to develop sports pitches and playable spaces to improve the health of the district with this programme focusing on the well-being and development of our children.
Lister Park will be the first site to benefit with a £650,000 refit of its playground facilities. Although the park remains one of the most popular play destinations, its current equipment is reaching the end of its lifespan.
The work follows consultation with children, park users and local community groups last summer and will look to improve the mix of play activities available to a broad range of ages and abilities.
The new play area will not only include traditional play equipment but will offer opportunities to encourage more innovative, dynamic and active play with natural play elements.
Investment in other areas will follow the creation of a Playable Spaces Strategy, due to be completed by the end of 2020, which will include consultation with elected members, families who use the spaces and local community groups.
The strategy aims to ensure there is a better mix of play spaces across the district so that there is provision close to the homes where younger children live, neighbourhood play facilities for older children as well as destination play facilities for everyone to enjoy like those being created in Lister Park.
It also aims to make sure play facilities address any inequalities of provision, are sustainable and achieve positive health outcomes for children.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said:
“We really need to invest in our children to ensure they have the play spaces they deserve in order to grow and develop.
“We need to make sure we have the play spaces families need for the twenty first century, including great destination parks for all and exciting local facilities for communities throughout the district.This means looking how communities can use smaller patches of land in innovative ways to encourage play.
“Play is not only important in tackling issues around obesity and ensuring children have a happy and healthy childhood. It is also an important part of their development in terms of dexterity, balance and muscle control as well as building relationships with other people.”
The £6.4m is made up of the remaining £5m from the develop sports pitches and playable spaces programme together with the available £1.329m Capital Section 106 monies already received and £67,000 of Community Investment Levy monies allocated by the Executive on 9 July 2019.
The Local Authority currently manages and maintains 299 play facilities across 165 sites through its Parks and Green spaces Service. This is made up of 150 traditional fixed play spaces as well as multi-use games areas, wheeled sports, ball sports and outdoor fitness facilities.