Money For New Playgrounds Going to Waste

Grants are not being taken up by local communities

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Communities are failing to cash in on the millions of pounds of free ‘Big Society’ funding that is available to help improve play and sports facilities across the UK, a key part of Lord Coe’s Olympic legacy pledge.

Research from one of the UK’s providers of play and sports equipment, shows that eight out of 10 communities haven’t seen any investment in the quality or availability of local sports or play facilities in the last three years.

This is despite there being a wide range of grants available, ranging from a few hundred pounds to £500,000 for individual projects. These grants are funded from a number of sources such as lottery money, corporate bursaries and charitable funds, and are open to applications from local community groups, parish councils, schools or local charities.

Michael Hoenigmann, managing director of Proludic, the company which conducted the research, said: “There’s a lot of talk about ‘The Big Society’ and how communities can come together to help improve their local area, but most people are totally unaware of the amount of money that’s available or how to access the grants.

“Play and sports is one area where there are considerable funds available. People who live in areas where there is a lack of good quality, existing facilities would stand a good chance of securing funding if they put a good case forward.”

To help, Proludic has created a guide for local community groups on how to identify and secure sources of funding.

“As well as national schemes, there are many smaller schemes that are available for certain areas or types of project,” explained Michael Hoenigmann. “At a time when public sector investment is being reduced, it’s increasingly important that communities come together to claim the money that’s rightfully theirs.”

Organisations wishing to find out more can contact the Proludic Funding Team on 0115 982 3980 or by email at

8th March 2012