A move to apply for substantial funding for three proposed new play areas in Erewash has been given the go-ahead this week.

Members of Erewash Borough Council’s Executive confirmed that a bid for £300,000 in total can be submitted to the FCC Community Action Fund towards new play facilities at Larklands in Ilkeston and at Long Eaton’s West Park and Sawley’s Harrington play areas.

A report at Council Executive on Tuesday 16 July said the council will work with other key partners and community groups for contributions to the proposed project.

The play equipment at the three sites is now becoming difficult and uneconomic to repair, with the cushioned surfacing also deteriorating. If successful in winning funding, the council will be able to provide larger and modern state-of-the-art play areas for families.

Councillors at the meeting also approved £30,000 of funding from the council as part of conditions laid down by the FCC Community Action Fund, which was previously known as WREN and awards grants for community projects across the country from funds donated by landfill activities of FCC Environment.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:

“These are difficult times for local authorities, but if we can make a successful bid for this external funding it will enable us to transform these three sites into modern and attractive play facilities that will be substantially bigger that the current ones.”

An important part of any bid for funding is the council’s work with partners like Derbyshire County Council and community and friends groups to raise money towards the projects. A recent successful bid for £100,000 of funding for a new play area at Barling Drive in Ilkeston was backed by Ilkeston Parents for Play, who raised money for the project.

The application process, including the proposed fundraising with community groups, means that if any bid was successful the projects would be started in the next financial year and take around a year to complete.