Play areas projects

We know that outdoor play is crucial to children's physical, emotional and mental development, health and well-being (it's also good for adults!).

That's why we want to ensure that all families have access to high quality, attractive, welcoming, safe, accessible and engaging outdoor playable spaces close to home.

Using standards recommended by Play England, Plymouth's Green Space Strategy 2008 to 2023 and the new Plymouth Plan, we aim to provide three types of play spaces:

Local (within a maximum 400m walking distance from home)

These could be a grassed area, small park, or local open space for play which provide a varied and interesting physical environment. It may have equipment - but not necessarily. Local sites will focus on provision for the under 13s age range.

Neighbourhood or 'Hub' (within a maximum 1km walking distance from home)

These will be equipped and provide a wide range of play experiences for a range of ages and abilities and be sited in or adjacent to an accessible natural space. These are likely to be more challenging and have additional features that meet the needs of older children and young people who are used to travelling longer distances independently.

Destination (serving the North, South, East, West and Central areas of the city)

These sites are in existing parks which families will travel to by car or public transport. They have a variety of play opportunities alongside other activities/facilities for a day's outing.

We'll work together with partners and other landowners to enable children, young people and communities have an active role in the development and ongoing care of play spaces, being mindful of the cost to maintain them to a high standard.

We're continually looking to improve outdoor play opportunities. In 2009, we secured £1.2million of Playbuilder funding and improved 21 play areas across the city over three years. Between 2009 to 2013 our Stepping Stones to Nature project improved access to five nature reserves for families. In 2016, our new three year Active Neighbourhoods project focused on engaging families and volunteers in five other natural spaces.

Play Areas Project Plan

In 2016 our key aims were to:

Prevent poor quality provision by:

  • removing very poor equipment
  • closing very poor sites where there is more than one play area within a 400m walking distance and work with the community and partners to find an alternative use

Provide high quality provision, using external funding by:

  • improving some of our bigger playgrounds to create high quality Hub/Destination sites which cater for all ages and abilities
  • improving some of our smaller play spaces for under 13s
  • improving access to our parks and green spaces for families

What this means

  • Fewer but higher quality playgrounds
  • Parks and green spaces which are easier for families to access and encourage play

What's happening in your neighbourhood

Over the next year we'll be doing projects across the city. Watch this space for more information about your neighbourhood:

  • Stoke
  • Estover
  • Belliver