New play fund

Playranger project gets grant from the coalfields regeneration project.'Shelley McIntrye with Peter McNestry (chairman of the regeneration project, plus Megan & Jessica Mills.'p7308a151
Playranger project gets grant from the coalfields regeneration project.'Shelley McIntrye with Peter McNestry (chairman of the regeneration project, plus Megan & Jessica Mills.'p7308a151

NEW life has been breathed into a Pontefract play scheme thanks to an £85,000 grant.

The Playranger Project was awarded the lifeline by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) to relaunch its after-school playground sessions.

Around 900 youngsters in the town will benefit from the scheme, which includes visiting parks across Pontefract in a brightly coloured van and providing children with arts and crafts activities and play equipment.

Wilma Horobin, administrator for the project, said: “The CRT really came to our rescue.

“We put in a funding bid and they’ve agreed to carry it on until March 2013. We’ve worked so hard to get the Pontefract project back up and running.

“We’re about promoting play, everything is for the benefit of the children in Pontefract and we want everyone to know we’re back.”

The Playranger Project started in 2008 and was funded by the Big Lottery Fund as part of a Wakefield Council initiative.

Funding ended in May and the group continued using its own resources until October when it ran out of cash.

Mrs Horobin said: “We had to pull out of Pontefract altogether because we didn’t have the money.

“But this money will cover some of our running costs, insurance and equipment. We have also got a bid for the lottery fund in, which we should hear about at the end of the month.

“We’re also hoping to do something similar in Featherstone, the children there are desperate for something.”

Peter McNestry, chairman of the CRT, said: “We are pleased to be able to invest in play provision. It helps to increase children’s confidence and self esteem, provide freedom to play safely in their communities, improved physical activity levels and help improve relationships with their peers, family and the wider community.”