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Waveney youngsters set to gain from play schemes in Lowestoft, Beccles Bungay and Halesworth

Delegates from the Waveney Play Parnership conference

Delegates from the Waveney Play Parnership conference

Archant © 2011

Children in Waveney will be discovering the joys of the open air and the power of play as more recreational areas are set to open in the next few months.

As part of the Waveney Play Partnership, new or improved play areas in Kessingland, Reydon and Oulton will be open to children in April or May.

And there looks set to be more bumper fun time for Waveney youngsters as the partnership is beginning to attract funding to secure new or revamped play sites across the district.

But as the partnership revealed its play plans for Bungay, Halesworth and Lowestoft there was a warning the fun times may soon be over.

In June the lottery funding for the post of play and open space develop-ment officer at Waveney District Council, held by Chris Ames, runs out with no guarantee further grants to fund the post will be available.

Despite the uncertainty Mr Ames is still ploughing ahead with his next set of recreational projects.

Hopefully in April Kessingland families will be able to enjoy the Marram Green play area, while in Reydon’s Winston Road children will be clambering over their new fun activity site.

And in Bonds Meadow in Oulton there will be hours of tree-mendous fun as a £50,000 willow themed play area is due to open in May.

The three activity schemes have been funded by grants secured by the Waveney Play Partnership, which was set in 2007 by Waveney District Council.

Since then it has used £276,000 of Big Lottery Funding to create a play policy and secure funding.

Since 2008 the partnership has attracted more than £500,000 of funding for play and open space facilities by working closely with local communities.

Other projects funded through the partnership include the £159,000 north Lowestoft skateboard and BMX park, and play areas in Westhall, Blundeston and Barnby and North Cove.

And the next phase of the project will see Mr Ames try to secure funding for developers and organisation to fund projects at Town Park, Halesworth and Meadow Road and Kings Road, Bungay, help set up Kessingland skate park and create open spaces at Winnipeg Road and Granville Road, Lowestoft.

Mr Ames said: “I am optimistic some funding can be found for my position even though I know times are hard and council services are being cut back.

“Play is important. It tackles obesity and gets children outdoors.”

On Tuesday a celebration of the partnership was held at the Carlton Marshes visitor centre.

Wendy Mawer, Waveney District Council portfolio holder for prosperous and vibrant economy and learning and skills, told the delegates about the important role the partnership plays.

She said: “Play has many benefits, physical as well as mental. What sort of adults would we become without experimenting and acknowledging our own capabilities. How would we ever fill our potential?”

anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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