Parliamentary Question for the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Kathleen Lynch TD)
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 25/02/2014
To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding available for children’s playground facilities; her policy regarding the development of same; the involvement of local authorities in applying for funding and deciding on locations of playgrounds; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Encouraging children and young people to play and enjoy recreational facilities is becoming increasingly important. My Department is working closely with the Local Authorities, and the network of Play and Recreation Officers within them, to support the implementation of the national play and recreation policies, Ready Steady Play and Teenspace, National Recreation Policy for Young People. This includes the provision of funding for a National Play Day and a National Recreation Week, at a cost of €78,000 per year.
In 2013 I allocated €250,000 under the Play and Recreation Capital Scheme, to support new and existing play and recreation facilities for children and young people. Local Authorities were invited to apply for a maximum grant of €50,000, for one or more new innovative play and recreation projects. A commitment from successful Local Authority applicants to provide matching funding was a requirement of the grant scheme. This amount of funding will be made available again in 2014. My Department is currently working with the Local Area Network for Play and Recreation (LANPR), which I launched in 2012, to review existing policies and funding schemes.
While consideration of grant applications in 2013 took into account areas where no facilities existed or where play and recreation facilities were in need of refurbishment, the location of playgrounds is a matter for individual local authorities.