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Lottery boost means more play for Dales kids

[Thursday 23 March 2006]

Children's play facilities across the Northern Dales will receive a major financial boost, thanks to the Big Lottery Fund.

Hambleton and Richmondshire District Council's have been allocated £200,000 from the Fund, as part of the Lottery's 'Children's Play Initiative', launched earlier this month.

The BLF money is expected to be made available from November this year and the scheme aims to encourage local authorities to develop and implement children's play strategies.

The amount of funding allocated to each council across the UK is based on numbers of children living there and the relative levels of deprivation in each area.

The BLF is looking for schemes which will cater for 0 - 16 year olds and which involve anything children choose to do which is not considered to involve work or school.

The money is dependent upon the two authorities working together and Richmondshire will now work with Hambleton District Council to develop the individual Play Strategies for each area.

It is expected that voluntary and community groups will join them in creating a Local Play Partnership to identify a range of projects which will meet the needs highlighted by the Lottery Fund.

"This money cannot be accessed by local community groups by any other way than through the District Council," said Hambleton's Head of Leisure and Tourism Services, Dave Goodwin.

"We are already committed to helping improve children's play across the district but we are very keen to get involved with this scheme to bring even more cash into the area."

Richmondshire Councillor, Peter Wood said that his district also had a long standing commitment to improving play provision, adding: "We are keen to use funding available from the Big Lottery Fund to provide yet more opportunities for play in the District."

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