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Government urged to commit to play pledge

By Rachel Lawlerchildrens playground swings right to play

The Association of Play Industries (API) has written to the Prime Minister, asking the UK government to follow the example of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and invest in children’s parks.

Sturgeon has pledged to spend £60 million renewing every play park in Scotland to help ensure that all children have access to a space to play in their own community, if the SNP is re-elected in the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May.

Announcing the policy, she said: "After a year in which many children have not had access to a garden, this investment has never been more important. The last year has been incredibly tough for children and young people across Scotland, and by giving both votes to the SNP in this election, people will be electing an SNP government more determined than ever to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.”

Network of parks
In a letter also sent to secretary of state for health Matt Hancock and secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Robert Jenrick, the API is calling on the British government to do the same for all children across the UK. It argues that a national network of sustainable public play spaces will support children’s health and wellbeing “for generations to come”.

Mark Hardy, chair of the API, said: “All children throughout the UK need and deserve a similar promise on play. Away from the home, children spend more time playing in public playgrounds than any other place. And yet there has been an alarming and sustained decline in the number of playgrounds in recent years, leaving millions of children with nowhere to play. Children from the most disadvantaged areas, and those from the one in eight UK households without gardens, are the most affected.

“The government must now match the funding pledge of the SNP who have seized upon the groundswell of public appreciation for shared, public spaces such as parks and community playgrounds”

Find out more
You can read the letter in full here