Playground investment should help all Blackpool's children

The early years play zone at George Bancroft Park
The early years play zone at George Bancroft Park
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Fears have been raised that some Blackpool children are missing out because additional funding for play areas is being concentrated on the town's inner areas.

Blackpool Better Start, which is funded through a £45m Lottery grant, has invested thousands of pounds in upgrading playgrounds.

But its remit is to focus only on the seven most deprived wards in the resort.

Investment has seen £70,000 spent on a new early years play zone at George Bancroft Park and £300,000 spent in Revoe Park.

Claremont Park is about to ‘break ground’ on its £248,000 redevelopment of the existing play zone, incorporating more early years play equipment.

Funds have also been allocated to Mereside (£135,000), @theGrange (£60,000) Caunce Street Play Area (£100,000) and a £50,000 investment will further enhance the play area at Queen Parks new housing development.

Children’s Centres have also shared in funding with a planned investment of £250,000 across all centres.

But councillors warned areas not covered by Better Start were missing out.

Coun Paul Galley told a full meeting of the council: "What are we offering children in the other wards that is consistent with what is being done by Better Start?"

Coun Maxine Callow added: "I welcome what is being done in the inner wards but there are people on the outskirts whose children need help too."

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for resilient communities, said: "Better Start is a massive project.

"They do a lot of work and while it is specific to seven wards, a lot of the work they do is replicated in other wards and we pick that up in the children's centres as well."