Residents will have the opportunity to shape the future of local play spaces maintained by Kirklees Council through a planned rolling programme of engagement.
The council is set to invest £9.5 million to improve the overall quality of 250 play spaces and recreation grounds.
These designated outdoor play spaces help support people’s physical and mental-health wellbeing, as well as encouraging interaction between different generations. They are a key part of the council’s priority to tackle inequalities by helping to provide children with the best start in life and a space to encourage community cohesion.
The council plans to refresh each nominated site on a case-by-case basis, meaning each play space will be tailored to meet local community needs, and has agreed an engagement approach with local ward councillors.
Due to the large number of play spaces, there will be a rolling programme of public engagement, the first of which launch today – 5 July – for areas at Warburton Rec in Emley and Primrose Hill in Newsome, with engagement on other sites across Kirklees due to start over the coming months.
The feedback gathered will help shape the future design of the local play space and enhance connections to nature and the environment around them.
Councillor Naheed Mather, Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Environment said:
“No matter what your age, outdoor activities and play supports our social development, boosts our physical and mental health and brings us closer to nature. Never has this been more noticeable than during the last year when many of us made the most of our local outdoor spaces.
“This investment will encourage lifelong habits of physical activity and wellbeing by creating a range of safe, quality places for all ages and communities to enjoy.
“Through the involvement of those living and using the spaces, as well as ward councillors – who are important community leaders – we can create spaces that help identify and characterise each local area and be a place people want to use.”
The refresh of play spaces follows the council’s revised Playable Spaces Strategy which focusses on working with local communities to create spaces that will improve the overall quality of the play offer across the borough, including the use of natural play providing stronger connections with the local environment.
For the latest updates and ways to get involved go to www.kirklees.gov.uk/playablespaces