Play centre saved by nursery school deal

26 September 2016

Grangetown Play Centre has been saved – with the facility due to be brought under the management of the nearby Grangetown Nursery School in the New Year.

Local councillor Lynda Thorne said the new arrangements will start in January – after repairs are carried out to the existing facilities.

The move was agreed in principle a few months ago but there has been delay until the £60,000 worth of maintenance work could be agreed – and to find a suitable time for it to be carried out, to cause the least disruption.

“We were told it would transfer in April this year but we had to press hard to get essential repairs,” said Councillor Thorne, who updated the nursery school’s governors at a meeting last week.

“They were then agreed and we were going to do the repairs over the summer but I asked for a delay because it would likely have interfered with the play centre’s programme during the school holidays.”

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Mrs Thorne said she hoped it would be a new chapter for the play centre, two years after its future was thrown into doubt due to funding cuts and the need to save the £100,000 a year it was costing.

The council agreed to keep the centre open until an alternative option to run it could be agreed.

“The nursery will manage the building and the Reach scheme,” said councillor Thorne.

“We want to talk to the play centre group to see what they want – if they want to run the service.

“But we will provide a play service and maybe other activities but some of that will grow with the scheme.”

There has been a long-running campaign to keep it open, while a crowd-funding scheme was also launched.

The centre in Ferry Road has been used by generations of children after school and during school holiday times, with outdoor play and arts and crafts indoors.

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