Over £550,000 is set to be invested in play areas across Rhondda Cynon Taf during 2020/21.
This investment is part of the Council’s wider multi-million-pound Capital programme of investment, which benefits key areas across the County Borough, from education to highways and beyond.
Following Welsh Governments guidance, all Council owned play areas have now re-opened across Rhondda Cynon Taf, with the exceptions of Dare Valley County Park (Main play area and toddler play area by cafe) and Coed Dowlais play area, Church Village and Pasteur Grove, Church Village which are just four of the 15 facilities that will benefit from either full of partial refurbishment over the coming months. Some play areas are under the ownership of community councils or other organisations and may not have re-opened yet – please contact them for more information.
The Council owns and maintains over 200 play areas and these facilities are a lifeline for some families. Over the last few years there have been reports of vandalism, causing costly damage to the sites, which often results in temporary and sometimes permanent closure of the play areas.
Unfortunately following the re-opening of Lido Play at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd, substantial damage has been caused following a deliberate fire, to the tower block frame, rendering it out of action after only 2 days of use and has since re-opened.
When using the play areas visitors are reminded to regularly wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before and after using the equipment, maintain social distancing at all times and if there are too many in the play areas, consider exploring the wider park area if possible, until it’s quieter.
Toilet and refreshment facilities are now available at both Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd and Aberdare Park.
Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said: “I am pleased to confirm that another fifteen of RCT’s play areas will benefit from £550,000 investment in this financial year, taking our overall funding allocation to £4.3m since 2015.
“We have made a firm commitment to continue investing in our outdoor play facilities despite the ongoing pandemic and this round of investment now takes our programme of improvements into a sixth consecutive year, meaning increasingly more children and their families will have access to high-quality play facilities.
“By the end of the financial year, over 125 of our play areas right across the length and breadth of RCT will have benefited from the Council’s investment, and I look forward to seeing the programme progress throughout the year in giving even more children opportunities to benefit from healthy outdoor play activities, which is now even more important than even before.”