By KLTV Newsdesk –
Kirklees residents will have the opportunity to shape the future of local play spaces maintained by the 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.
Outdoor play spaces are vital in helping support people of all ages’ physical and mental health wellbeing, as well as being a way for all generations to come together.
The council says they are a key part of their priority to tackle inequalities by helping to provide children with the best start in life and a space to encourage community cohesion.
Each nominated play space will be refreshed on a case-by-case basis, which the council hopes will help any improvements specifically meet local community needs.
Because of the vast amount of public play spaces, the council has established a rolling programme of public engagement.
The first programme launches 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 council says the feedback gathered will help shape the future design of the local play space and enhance connections to nature and the environment around them.
‘Encourage lifelong habits’
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 focuses 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.
More information and updates on which areas are seeing public engagement can be found on the council’s website.