Improving children’s playgrounds has been a priority for Kirklees Council with a £9.5 million investment in new play areas across the district.

The council’s Playable Spaces strategy was launched in 2019 and despite the challenges of a global pandemic, economic shocks and a cost-of-living crisis, the project is well underway.

Since work started in 2021, 49 playground sites have had modern designs drawn up and public consultation has taken place on 42 of them. So far 16 new play areas have been completed, five are ready for construction to start and four more are in the pipeline.

The council works with local councillors and the community to work out what best suits children and young people in the local area.

One of the refurbished play sites, Causeway Crescent Park in Linthwaite, proved extremely popular with children in the area.

According to Merryn, a pupil at Linthwaite Clough, the place looks great and provides a lot of fun with a good variety of new things.

Olivia, from the same school, loves the new swings which replaced the “creaky” old ones and Emily loves the easy-to-access monkey bars.

The rolling programme of work will continue to cover all 250 play areas across Kirklees with sites being prioritised on the age of equipment, condition and community requirements.

Clr Masood Ahmed, Cabinet member for environment, said: “Our research, as part of the Playable Spaces strategy, highlights the importance of inter-generational play and the health and wellbeing benefits that this can bring to people of all ages.

“One of the aims of this project is to create play areas that encourage young people and their families to play together and enjoy the benefits of getting active outdoors.

“Our newly refurbished sites include a variety of innovative equipment to encourage natural play to forge connections with the local environment and give our communities the opportunity to enjoy free fun in the fresh air, and a place to form social connections and improve physical and mental wellbeing.

“We have a rolling programme of consultation that will cover sites across the district. I hope residents will take part and give us their views on our proposed designs. We use feedback, where possible, to ensure our play spaces best fit our diverse and individual communities across Kirklees.”

More information and current consultations can be found on the Playable Spaces pages of the council website