Councillors welcome Worcester's first-ever Play Plan
Councillors have backed a scheme which will improve play facilities and spaces across Worcester.
Members of the Place and Economic Development this week approved the city's first ever Play Plan.
Designed in consultation with children, young people and their families and carers, it sets out ambitions to make major investment in play spaces across the city in the years to come.
The aim is for all children and teenagers to have access to play facilities within a 12-15 minute walk of their homes, and for existing play spaces to be improved.
The Play Plan also sets out some priority projects which include dedicated spaces for teenagers, a new accessible and inclusive play area for children with disabilities, as well as new facilities in Battenhall, Cotswold Way and near the Horizon centre.
Earlier this year a consultation was launched, with children, young people and their families being asked for their views on current play provision in the city, and also what improvements they would like to see. This was done via an online interactive map as well as in-person events at various locations.
A total of 522 responses were received with requests including having a greater variety of play equipment, more safe outdoor spaces, outdoor fitness equipment, spaces for bikes and skateboards, natural play spaces and additional seating and toilet facilities. Many people wanted to see more provision for teenagers and for children with disabilities.
The Council will now be working to identify and prioritise new sites in areas with the lowest play and outdoor provision for children and young people. In play areas where equipment needs replacing, consideration will be given to completely redesigning the play parks.
Other projects will include increasing spaces within the city where older children can meet up.
Councillor Robyn Norfolk, Chair of Worcester City Council's Place and Economic Development Committee, said: "The Play Plan is an ambitious and exciting step forward in helping to make our local play spaces more inclusive, accessible and safe.
"We consulted with a wide range of community groups including representation for children with particular needs and disabilities, local schools and members of the public in order to draw up the plan and we will continue to do so as each project gets underway. This way we can ensure that our play areas and outdoor social spaces meet the needs of Worcester's children and young people for many years to come."