Merton awarded £2.5million for ‘child’s play’

Children in Merton will have access to better equipped play spaces within the next two and a half years following a successful bid by Merton Council to secure £2.5million from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

As part of the government’s National Play Strategy, Merton is one of ten pathfinders in the country to be chosen by the DCSF to develop the borough’s first adventure playground and 28 refurbished, or new, public play areas over a two-year period from April 2009.

Councillor Debbie Shears, cabinet member for children’s services says: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be chosen as one of only ten pathfinders nationwide to receive this funding.

“We want every child in the borough to benefit from the opportunities that stimulating outdoor play spaces can bring. Play is an integral part of a child’s emotional, educational and social development and is also a fantastic way for families to spend quality time together.

“I’m sure that all families in the borough will be excited by the prospect of developing and refurbishing so many play spaces in Merton.

“We’ve already started consulting with communities to identify suitable locations for new play spaces and should be able to provide a definitive list within the next year.”

Notes to editors:

For more information about the government’s national play strategy visit

The other nine pathfinders in the country are: Blackpool, Cornwall, Kirklees, Lambeth, Luton, Newcastle, Oxfordshire, Sandwell and Wigan