Cash for sports and play is up for grabs

NEARLY £800,000 is available for new play projects and sports facilities in the Suffolk Coastal area - just waiting to be spent.

NEARLY £800,000 is available for new play projects and sports facilities in the Suffolk Coastal area - just waiting to be spent.

Town and parish councils are being urged to make bids for the cash which has come from developers carrying out housing projects.

Builders unable to provide play or sports facilities as part of their schemes - whether it is one house or 1,000-plus - are asked to contribute to the fund when they gain planning permission so it can held ready for when the need for a project is identified.

Suffolk Coastal looks after the innovative Outdoor Play Space Fund (OPSF).

Council cabinet member Mary Neale said: “Money given to the OSPF is used to help set up play areas where new homes are being built and to date it has contributed over £500,000 to 83 projects in the district, ranging from £450 to improve access to a playground to £60,000 towards an all weather sports pitch.

“I would encourage town and parish councils across the district to bid for OPSF support to improve their local play areas or sports grounds, as it really makes a difference to the quality of life of people of all ages living in our communities.

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“Right now there is over £349,000 available for play facilities and over £440,000 available for sports facilities.”

So far this year 15 applications have been received and more than £78,000 has been handed out to projects including new play equipment in Kemps Field, Aldeburgh, which received £28,000, and the construction of an access road at Walpole, which received £2,000.

Any councils seeking more information should call Jennie Catling, Suffolk Coastal's outdoor play space development officer, on Wednesdays and Thursdays on 01394 444321 or email community&economic@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

Is making developers pay towards play/sports facilities a good move? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk