Merton welcomes injection of funds to expand children’s play opportunities

Merton Council has received more than £400,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to help improve play opportunities for young people in the borough.

The money will be used to develop high quality areas that meet the needs of all age groups through three local projects.

Merton Council’s Greenspaces team will oversee the upgrading of four play areas, including the addition of a skateboard park so teenagers have opportunities that are appropriate and challenging.

Local charity Groundwork will provide a team of rangers to encourage children to use the borough’s parks and in collaboration with Croydon Community Play Bus, children and young people in areas where access to open space is limited will be given more opportunities to meet and have fun during their school holidays.

Cabinet Member for Childrens’ Services, Councillor Debbie Shears, says:
“The Big Lottery Fund grant will help Merton Council achieve its vision of providing excellent facilities and opportunities for children and young people in the borough. The use of open spaces will be encouraged and it is hoped children will learn new skills through play. Merton Council sees the provision of these opportunities as essential to furthering young peoples’ development.”

The borough’s Free Play Strategy was introduced in September.

It was developed after consultation with children, young people, parents, carers and relevant organisations.


Notes to editors:
· The development of a play strategy was required before applying to the Big Lottery Fund Children’s Play Programme.
· The exact amount of funding equals £401,834.