East Ayrshire Council is set to give the green light to a multi million pound programme of improvements to the area’s 84 play parks.

A dozen of the older play parks will have new equipment installed to make them accessible to all children, if the plan is approved by the council’s cabinet next week.

Work would take place throughout February and March. A further 27 parks would be repainted.

A total of £112,000 would come from its share of the Scottish Government’s Outdoor Community Play Fund for 2021/22, supplemented with £41,000 from the council itself.

This is only the first round of funding, with the council expected to receive £1.34 million of the £60m fund over the next five years.

A report to the cabinet states: “Each local authority will receive a share of the funding to improve the standard of existing play parks, enhancing play opportunities for children and young people.

“Greener Communities are responsible for the management and maintenance of the 84 adopted play parks within our East Ayrshire communities.

"Some of these play parks have been installed since 2002 with the most recent park installation being in 2019.

“It is anticipated that further funding will be available from the planned £60m play park investment.

"Although our allocation is not yet confirmed by the Scottish Government, it is estimated that the council’s share of the investment funding over five years will be in the region of £1.344m.

“Once funding has been confirmed, it is planned that we carry out further play park improvement works over the next five years to allow our facilities to be modernised and improve further accessibility to all children and young people.

“There are many links to children, young people and wellbeing. Play allows
children to be creative while developing their imagination, proficiency, physical and emotional strength.

“They also learn skills they need for study, work and relationships such as: confidence."

The report says that most of the park equipment is still in ‘reasonable’ condition and only requires painting and surface repair.

However, the older parks had ‘no or limited access to inclusive play equipment’.

The report continued: “Children and young people of all abilities face barriers to play and inclusive play because of a lack of venues that are close to home.

"It is our intention to provide an opportunity to access inclusive equipment within many of our older facilities that do not already have appropriate equipment available.”

The council expects to pay between £90,000 and £130,000 to improve one play park, with some individual pieces of equipment costing up to £15,000 to buy and install.

The cabinet will also consider a proposal to set aside £100,000 to carry out repairs each year.