Child on a swing

Improved youth spaces in Kirklees

Kirklees Council has announced that spaces are being improved for young people around the area, thanks to work that has now been ongoing for two years.

As part of the council’s Playable Spaces project, launched in 2019 and backed by £9.5 million worth of funding, new spaces are being delivered for communities, with an emphasis on improving the provision for children and young people, as well as their families and carers.

The project sees the council working alongside ward councillors and communities to ensure that the best design for each site is delivered for the community. This is due to the differing needs of the different communities, as well as the differing requirements from a play space.

Work on the project began in 2021, with 49 sites having new designs drawn up. Of that number, all but seven have already been discussed with members of the communities and five are ready for construction. There are also currently four that are under construction, and 16 that have already been completed.

Sites are currently being prioritised based on three topics, which are:

  • Age of equipment
  • Condition
  • Community requirements

With this prioritisation in place, all 250 sites across Kirklees will be covered by the rolling programme of work.

Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Masood Ahmed, said:

“Our research, as part of the Playable Spaces strategy, highlights the importance of intergenerational play and the health and wellbeing benefits that this can bring to people of all ages. One of the aims of this project is to create play areas that encourage young people and their families to play together and enjoy the benefits of getting active outdoors.

“Our newly refurbished sites include a variety of innovative equipment to encourage natural play to forge connections with the local government and give our communities the opportunity to enjoy free fun in the fresh air, and a place to form social connections and improve physical and mental wellbeing.

“We have a rolling programme of consultation that will cover sites across the district, I hope residents will take part and give us their views on our proposed designs. We use feedback, where possible, to ensure our play spaces best fit our diverse and individual communities across Kirklees.”

Kirklees Council has pressed on with the work in spite of mounting challenges that come as a result of global events. This is in alignment with the council’s commitment to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of its residents.

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