Play strategy for Cornwall

In 2006 the Cornwall Play Strategy Partnership came together to create a Play Strategy for Cornwall with the aim of constructing a coherent strategy for improving free, outdoor play opportunities for all children in Cornwall. In 2007 Cornwall’s strategy Positive About Play was completed and as a result Councils across Cornwall were able to draw down £1.2million for play projects from the government’s Children’s Play Initiative administered by the Big Lottery .

The grant delivered many projects such as play rangers and improvements to play sites across the districts. In 2008, for the first time a National Play Strategy was produced and the government invested £235 million in play nationally.  The Cornwall Play Strategy Partnership successfully bid for Playbuilder status for Cornwall, drawing down a further £1.3 million from central government to transform play areas  and in 2009, after a further bid, Play Pathfinder status followed for the new Cornwall Council with an additional £1.6 million for play activities and an adventure playground.

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The foreword to Positive About Play states: 'Play is an essential part of every child’s life'. Although Cornwall has open space, scenery, and accessible countryside we know that not all children who live here have equal opportunities for play.  Play is not just something trivial that children do, it is a vital part of the Every Child Matters agenda, and supports positive outcomes in health, education, and social development.  Our responsibility to support play goes beyond providing playground equipment and open spaces - though these things are important. Children and young people need our support to help create stimulating and appropriate play environments which include activities and things to do, places near to home to meet, and adventurous and challenging experiences to stretch potential. 

Following transition to the new Cornwall Council the Cornwall Play Strategy Partnership reformed its membership, and a draft refreshed Play Strategy has been drawn up.  In recognition of the vital importance of play in the development of children and the health of our society the reformed Partnership included members from a wide range of disciplines and organisations both within and beyond Cornwall Council, such as the Eden Project, the National Trust and Cornwall Association of Local Councils.  

The Vision in Positive About Play: 'All children and young people aged 0 -19 years resident in or visiting Cornwall will have access to appropriate, inspiring, exciting, inclusive and sustainable play and recreational opportunities. Children and young people will be able to play freely and safely and make choices about where, how and when they play.'