Pots of Gold

Name: The Children’s Play Initiative

Contact Details: Big Lottery Fund enquiry line 0845 410 2030 or click HERE to view the website.

What is it? A £155m England-wide programme due for launch latr this month to “create, improve and develop children and young people’s local play spaces”

Who runs it? Funding is provided by The Big Lottery fund. Regional support and infrastructure is organised by the Children’s Play Council

How much money does it give away? £124 m had been allocated to local children’s play strategies. The initiative expects some projects to be delivered by local authorities themselves while others will be contracted out to voluntary or community organisations. The remaining £31m is available to fund the programmes regional infrastructure and to promote “innovation”.

How big is each grant? Each local authority has been granted an allocation based on the number of children and povertyy levels in the area.

Who can apply? Each local authority must first develop a local children’s play strategy in consultation with young people, families, and the communities. It may then send in one application covering a range of projects that meet the aims of this strategy. Voluntary and community organisations, and social enterprises can apply directly to the “innovation” strand of the programme.

Who or what is the money intended for? The programme will target children and young people who do not have access to good play opportunities. Examples of particular need include rural areas with limited public play provision, play provision for disabled children, girls of school age and children in care.

What kind of projects are eligible? The main strand of the initiative will fund projects included in the local authorities’ play strategies. Examples include: adventure playgrounds, holidays and after school play activities, small public playgrounds; and staff training. The “innovation” strand will fund projects that demonstrate new approaches and the development of best practice.

How do I apply? For information of receiving Children’s Play Initiative funds through local play strategies, contact you local authority. Application packs for funding through the “innovation” strand will be available at the end of this month.

When should I apply? Local authorities have four application deadlines: July 2006; November 2006; March 2007; and September 2007. Applications to the “innovation” strand will be accepted at any time until January 2008.

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