Crawley Borough Council has announced that two of its adventure playgrounds will remain open for supervised play this year following a one-off grant from the government.
The government has given every local authority a Lower Tier Services Grant so the council has decided to use this to keep Cherry Lane and Millpond adventure playgrounds open as supervised, open access play sites until the end of October half-term 2021 (subject to Covid-19 restrictions).
Millpond and Cherry Lane will operate with an online registration and booking system to create a Covid-secure environment and ensure that the adventure playgrounds are being used by Crawley children.
However, this grant is for one year only so after October, Cherry Lane Adventure Playground will move to unsupervised play.
After October half-term, Millpond Adventure Playground in Bewbush will close permanently. Creasys Drive Adventure Playground in Broadfield is already closed and will not reopen. The council will be bringing forward new unsupervised play facilities in Broadfield and Bewbush in due course.
Waterlea Adventure Playground will be refurbished and then re-open as an unsupervised play site in 2022.
The council will also bring in its new model of outreach play, which will look to move play activities into neighbourhoods and increase participation. This model will also:
- Increase the range of play opportunities for children away from more traditional building-based activities
- Reach groups that may not usually access services
- Make use of buildings across the town and work in partnership with other existing groups and organisations.
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said: “While the long-term impact of COVID-19 on council funding means adventure playgrounds will have to move to unsupervised play by 2022, I’m glad that this one-off funding means we can continue to provide supervised play until next Winter, as we roll-out our new outreach model.”
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of the Opposition, said: “I welcome this additional government funding that has enabled us to extend supervised play at two Adventure Playgrounds for this year, while we also work to refurbish Waterlea for unsupervised play for next year.”