© 2012 Borough of Poole Environmental Development Team, Unit 1 Newfields Business Park, 2 Stinsford Road, Poole BH17 0NF. All rights reserved.
The vast majority of leisure & play projects in Poole are, or have been, funded from two main sources:
In September 2008 Leisure Services, together with Children and Young People's Services (CYPS), submitted a bid for ‘Playbuilder' funding to the then Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) (superseded in May 2010 by the Department for Education).
As with all government grants there were strict criteria to be met together with the requirement that project proposals and management be approved by Play England who administered the fund on behalf of the DCSF. The first step toward achieving the necessary approvals was the production of a Project Plan, submitted to Play England March 2009:
The success of the bid was announced in April 2009, when Borough of Poole was awarded more than £1 million for the improvement of 22 play areas for the 8-13 year age range, over a two year period.
Poole has more than 40 play areas, and selection of the 22 for improvement was based primarily on an in-depth assessment of the condition and play value of the existing facilities.
The first priority of each project was to identify and talk with school children, other users, neighbours and other local interest groups to establish their needs, wishes and any concerns.
Poole was awarded £525,487 in Year 1 (2009-2010), together with an associated revenue funding of £26,918. Following a lengthy consultation and design period, eleven play areas were completed by May 2010.
In July 2010 the Secretary of State for Education announced that the Department of Education needed to identify savings from a number of capital budgets in 2010-2011, including the Playbuilder budget.
Local authorities were told to avoid incurring costs in relation to the Playbuilder grant with immediate effect, which meant the Borough of Poole had to suspend all work on the 11 Year 2 Playbuilder sites until the financial situation was clarified in November.
In November 2010 the Council received a letter advising that Poole would receive the reduced amount of £370,000 for Year 2 projects, £222,000 less than originally expected. Councillors decided that rather than spending the funds on all 11 sites and achieving minor improvements, Leisure Services should concentrate on improving six sites. These six were selected by considering the number of children living within 400m of the sites, and choosing those that were most likely to be used by the highest number of 8-13 year olds. A seventh (Scott Road) was improved using a small amount of funding left in the project contingency budget.
Planning Obligations Funding is a nationwide innovation introduced by Government and is generated through the planning department.
Legally binding agreements are entered into with property developers to ensure that certain planning obligations are met.
Typically these obligations would involve the provision of affordable housing on larger housing proposals or transport infrastructure improvements.
Another type of obligation is known as 'Recreational Contributions' - developer money contributed solely for the provision or improvement of parks, play areas and other leisure facilities.
Recreational Contributions pay for Leisure Services projects and are allocated to two distinct funds:
Ward Based Funds, for use only in the ward in which the development(s) took place, and only on:
Borough-wide Funds, to be spent on facilities that can be enjoyed by all residents of Poole:
Borough of Poole was one of the UK's leading Local Authorities in the collection and allocation of Planning Obligations.
Read about recent projects delivered through Planning Obligations funding
Borough of Poole Supplementary Planning Guidance - Planning Obligations: Recreation Facilities (April 2000) is available to download here.
The Government plan to replace the current system with the 'Community Infrastructure Levy'. Borough of Poole will consider whether obligations need to be broadened to take account of changing needs in terms of health, education and other priorities, and how future contributions should be sought.
Further background information to Section 106 Planning Obligations can be found at boroughofpoole.com