Our Playable Spaces Strategy – Frequently asked questions

What is the Playable Spaces Strategy?

It is a £9.5million investment to improve all public play areas and spaces in Kirklees. The improvements are being made to ensure suitable play spaces are available to everyone in Kirklees. The scheme aims to promote healthy lifestyles and looks to introduce more spaces that adults and children alike can use to stay active outdoors.

What will happen to the play areas in Kirklees?

There are currently 314 play areas with equipment managed by the council across Kirklees, which is more than Bradford and Leeds combined. This is something the council is proud of and we have no plans to close any of them.

The Playable Spaces scheme will see 177 of these parks having their equipment upgraded, to ensure it’s less than 15 years old. This will mean 90 per cent of residents will have at least one equipped play area 700m away from their home.

The other 137, which are smaller in size, will remain as public play areas but will potentially provide a different offer. They will be made up of natural play features such as boulders, logs, appropriate planting and new landscaping.

Why is this happening?

  • To provide a diverse range of high quality play spaces for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to access challenging opportunities for play, physical activity, contact with nature and social development close to home.
  • To encourage active play to help build physical strength, increase fitness and teach children vital life skills.
  • To improve the overall quality of the play offer throughout Kirklees
  • To provide a more effective approach to ongoing maintenance and management of the parks both within the council and by encouraging community involvement.

Are play areas being closed?

No parks/play areas will be closed.

How do I know what will happen to my local play areas?

We will publicise the strategy in full in the coming months.

What work went into making these proposals?

We carried out a district-wide exercise to engage communities and other stakeholders in conversations about play in order to better understand their feelings. We also did a desktop study including data analysis and a mapping exercise to analyse the current quality, compliance and play value of each site.

I have raised money for equipment what is going to happen if the play area closes?

The play area will not close, but it may well change. All contractual agreements will be upheld and any other matters will be discussed and resolved during the engagement process.

How can I have my say in what happens to my local play area?

There will be future engagement sessions across the district which will be open to everyone to hear about the plans, voice concerns and suggest ideas and improvements for spaces. These will be advertised widely.

In the meantime you can contact parks@kirklees.gov.uk with any questions or concerns and view the strategy here.

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