Aberdeen City Council agrees £1.3 million playground funding

Aberdeen City Council has agreed £1.3 million of funding to refurbish play parks and take on extra staff in the city this year and next.

Duthie Park is one of those earmarked for investment. Image: Robin Cartier/Flickr
Duthie Park is one of those earmarked for investment. Image: Robin Cartier/Flickr

The programme includes existing £450,000 capital funding plus additional £826,000 revenue funding, which will pay for additional fixed term staff.

The council report said the refurbishment will be undertaken on a priority basis and it will consult with the community on the final design of each of the larger play areas.

The playparks to be refurbished in 2017/18 and their estimated costs are: Lee Crescent (£28,000), Clova Park (£62,000), Ash Hill Road (£50,000), Wales Street (£20,000), Clifton Road (£14,000), Orchard Street (£30,000), Oldtown Terrace (£60,000), Abbey Place (£44,000), Persley Crescent (£34,000), St Ninians Court (£60,000), and Piries Lane (£35,000).

The following are for areas where partial refurbishments will be implemented for replacing equipment approaching the end of its useful life or already removed: Sunnyside Park (£37,000), St Fitticks Skate Park (£17,000), Powis Circle (£9,000), Gallowgate (£7,000), North Grampian Circle (£14,000), Scotstown Gardens (£9,000), Duthie Park North (£11,000), and Duthie Park South (£19,000).

The council also intends to monitor the city’s network of fixed play equipment sites to ensure that they are safe, well-lit and maintained to a high standard, provide play opportunities within the city that are high quality challenging and safe, and promote the importance of play within the lives of Aberdeen’s children so that they are active and healthy.

The programme enables the council to comply with international, national and local children’s’ play policies. Aberdeen City Council has its own City Play Policy which uphold children’s rights to play.

In England, play areas are being closed at an alarming rate, according to research conducted by the Association of Play Industries, and detailed in a report Nowhere to Play published last month.

It asked English councils, using Freedom of Information requests, how many playgrounds they had closed and how many they intended to close. It found in 2014/15 112 playgrounds were closed and in 2015/16 102 were shut across England.

English councils said they intended to close a further 80 playgrounds in the current financial year. The two thirds of councils which had finalised plans for the next two financial years said they planned to close 103 playgrounds in 2017/18 and 51 in 2018/19.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified in 1989, says that "every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child," something the API and others pointed out in their submissions to the Communities and Local Government Committee parks inquiry last year.


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