Funding boost for new play areas

CHILDREN in SUFFOLK are set to benefit from more than £1million lottery funding which is to be spent on improving playing facilities.District councils have been awarded the vast sums after submitting applications showing how they will use the money to give children more to do.

CHILDREN in SUFFOLK are set to benefit from more than £1million lottery funding which is to be spent on improving playing facilities.

District councils have been awarded the vast sums after submitting applications showing how they will use the money to give children more to do.

Patricia O'Brien, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for children, said: “The bids that have been successful will help offer important opportunities for play across the county.

“Play is an important part of learning for children and the projects that will come from the funding are very welcome.”

In Ipswich, three projects were awarded a total of £301,317 from the Big Lottery Fund.

They are a new youth facility to be built in Bramford Lane, an adventure project at Chantry Park and the extension of the mobile Doorstep project.

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In mid Suffolk, projects set to benefit to the tune of £200,000 include a new skate park at the recreation ground in Stowmarket, and a play facility at Redgrave.

And in the Suffolk Coastal area, a new off-road cycling trail will be built in Rendlesham Forest, as well as a new play area at a location yet to be confirmed in Felixstowe.

In the Babergh area, £200,000 will be distributed between three projects including replacing outdated play equipment at Hawkins Close, Sudbury, and providing play equipment at three of the 16 parishes in the district where there are currently no facilities.

Every borough and district council in the country was invited to apply for money for children's play projects through the Big Lottery Fund in spring 2006.

The awards were decided on after each council submitted a 'play strategy' detailing their plans to improve the provision of recreation facilities for children and young people in their areas.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “The play strategy is intended however to be more than a document to secure lottery funding - it is intended to represent the specific needs within the district area and as such should influence the local authorities approach to play within the district.”

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