I regret to inform the Deputy that the only funding provided by my Department for playgrounds is in the area of capital grants for play and recreation. All applications for funding under this scheme are made through the Local Authority Play and Recreation Network member in the Local Authority.
In order to receive funding under this scheme the following criteria must be met:
- All spaces and facilities for which funding is granted must be available for use by all children and young people in the locality at times when they are free to use them, i.e. outside of school hours.
- All facilities and equipment funded must be accessible to children and young people with special needs.
- Applications should include facilities and equipment which are youth-friendly and safe.
- Confirmation that No Smoking signage will be displayed in play spaces and facilities.
- All projects funded under the scheme must provide evidence, or a commitment to providing evidence, that children and young people living locally who will have access to the facility have been consulted about the project for which funding is sought.
Funds under this scheme are for capital, not current spending, such as supervisory costs.
The supervisory posts referred to in the Deputy’s question would not meet the criteria for any funding scheme operated by my Department.
I regret that I could not give the Deputy a more favourable reply.