July 2011 - Update on PlaybuilderThe Association of Play Industries has put together a report on childrens play and the legacy of playbuilder - State of Play; A report into the future of UK play provision and the Playbuilder legacy (2008-2011).
You can download it here
January 2011 - Time for an update probably. Ultimately the campaign was a success - we highlighted the cuts, and the funding was put back in place after the October 2010 budget. Many, but sadly not all communities recieved their playbuilder grants.
Here in Oxfordshire we were one of the lucky areas, and despite all the delays threatening our match funding we managed to pull everything together and have finished building the new playground in Hook Norton. Including the playbuilder funding, we in Hook Norton raised over £99,000 for the new playground including grants from Oxfordshire County Council's Playbuilder, Cherwell District Council, the Oxfordshire County Council aiming high fund, an Oxfordshire County Council Playdesign Grant, and donations from the Hook Norton Beer Festival, Hook Norton Charitable Foundation, Oxfordshire Community Foundation, Viridor Credits Oxfordshire Via T.O.E, the Hook Noton Oil Consortium, various Hook Norton villagers including the handbell ringers and local companies including Hook Norton Vets and Banbury Plant Hire.
May I send my HUGE thanks to all the supporters who signed the petition and sent emails; the national press who covered the cause, the BBC, The Jeremy Vine show, GMTV, The Association of Play Industries, Play England, Oxfordshire Playing Fields Association, especially Roger Davis, and lastly, Howie Watkins, the fantastic Play Pathfinder Manager for Oxfordshire.
See in the News for some the press and TV coverage we generated...
Timeline of Events
On June 16th 2010 Michael Gove removed the ringfence from Playbuilder funding. This meant that local councils could now refuse to continue funding their playground projects, but funds had been allocated and contracts signed and most were allowed to continue. On July 15th Anne Jackson of the Department for Education put all playbuilder funding on hold - obviously with a view to cutting it all together.
On the 21st October Michael Gove sent out a letter explaning that the majority of the funds were after all to be made available to local Authorities.
The email we sent - over 2,000 copies sent to David Cameron's office, the D of E, Nick Clegg, and Michael Gove. Sorry about your inboxes...
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to you as our Prime Minister to ask that you intervene to prevent Playbuilder funding being withdrawn.
Playbuilder has brought together communities throughout the UK, to work together to develop and design new playgrounds for the children and young people of their community. These grants were hard won and have already been awarded, but are now under threat by the Department of Education.
This Government is keen to see communities embrace the idea of a Big Society where people give of their time and energy on a voluntary basis. Playbuilder project communities wholeheartedly supported this idea and it would be devastating if these projects were to be scrapped as a result of the withdrawal of Playbuilder. We urge you not to withdraw the grants that have already been promised.