FIFE Council wants local communities to help them shape the future of play spaces across the Kingdom and a special meeting is being held in Cowdenbeath on Wednesday September 18.

Fife Council has drafted a Play Spaces Strategy to address some of the long-term challenges that it faces in developing and maintaining play parks. A consultation will run until December to gather feedback that will influence the final plan.

The meeting will be held in the Assembly Hall, at Beath High School, Foulford Road, from 6:30 – 8:30pm on Wednesday 18th about proposals for, Cowdenbeath, Crossgates, Hill of Beath, Kelty, Lumphinans, Ballingry, Cardenden, Crosshill, Benarty, Crosshill and Lochgelly,

Greenspace Officer, Kevin O’Kane, explained: “When we talk about play spaces we’re referring to both play parks and green spaces for play. "Much of Fife’s play equipment will be at the end of its life in the next ten years and many of the play parks are currently designed to only have equipment that’s suitable for toddlers.

“It’s important that we have good green spaces for children to play in. We want to reshape play parks to make sure that we can offer high quality and varied outdoor play opportunities for children of all ages. "And we need to ensure that we have suitable resources and budget to sustain this longer term.”

Fife Council currently manages 446 sites with play equipment. However, 82% of these will reach the end of their life in the next ten years and 151 of them are of limited value with three or fewer pieces of play equipment each.

The Council’s Community Project team is keen to hear what people think about their proposal that categorises Fife’s play spaces. This includes green space, green space with play features and three types of larger play parks that cater for a wider range of children.

Kevin added: “We think this will offer improved opportunities for children’s play, but it does mean redesigning what’s currently on offer across Fife. We'd like community feedback on our proposals for categorising 292 play parks across Fife. And we’d like to create eight new play parks.

“152 of the play sites could be transformed into green space that offers alternative play features. So instead of replacing manufactured equipment when it gets to the end of its life, we could look to redesign the area with features such as timber logs, balancing beams, landform, picnic tables and boulders instead.

“We’re looking forward to working with local communities to finalise the plans for their areas and encourage as many people as possible to share their ideas and opinions.”