Play Wales wins funding and closure reprieve

By Joe Lepper

| 21 October 2014

Play Wales has been saved from closure after being handed £400,000 by the Welsh government to support local efforts to encourage play and tackle poverty.

Play Wales will help councils meet their duty to ensure there are sufficient play opportunities for children.

Under the new funding agreement, Play Wales will be tasked with helping Welsh local authorities to meet their statutory duties to provide play opportunities and develop an international centre of excellence around play.

The move comes three months after Play Wales was turned down for funding through the Welsh government’s children and families delivery grants (CFDG).

The independent charity feared the bid knockback would force it to close unless further funding was found, and all staff had been issued with 12-week redundancy notices in July.

Confirming the funding reprieve, a Welsh government spokeswoman said: “We have issued an offer of just over £400,000 to Play Wales. This is not core funding – it is for specific activities to be delivered over 18 months, which will directly support our key priorities around play and tackling poverty.”

In a statement, Play Wales thanked play organisations and experts who supported its campaign for further funding.

It said: “As a team we are extremely grateful for the personal support and kind words we have received from the play community in Wales, the UK and internationally.”

Play Wales chairman Dr Mike Shooter added: “We are extremely pleased that the Welsh Government has recognised the unique role Play Wales has in supporting local authorities to meet the requirements to secure sufficient play opportunities.”

This latest funding package is separate to the CFDG play grant of £1.4m that was awarded to Groundwork Wales in the summer to increase the accessibility and quality of children’s outdoor play opportunities in areas of high deprivation. This work is being carried out with another charity, Snap Cymru.

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