By Luthien Evans | News Editor
Lanes and alleyways in Grangetown will be transformed into safe spaces for children to play, as well as becoming more green, this month. The initiative has been coined the Safe Play Lanes Project. It is to be delivered through to All Wales Play Opportunities Grant, which financially supports the increase of play opportunities for children.
As the initiative has the community at the forefront of the operation, they are currently in the local consultation stage where they are asking local residents of Grangetown to help design the upgrade of the lanes. It has been suggested if this initiative is successful and supported by the community, has the potential to be expanded further parts of Cardiff.
This initiative was pioneered and formed collaboratively between Cardiff Council, Cardiff University and Grange Pavillion. The intention of the project is to increase safe areas for children as well as improving community cohesion. This is said to be done through enabling children to be able to ‘play safely near their own homes meaning they can enjoy the outdoors, see friends and be near their family’, as stated by Sarah Merry, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills. This has been seen as especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She further claims that this may help reduce antisocial behaviours, such as fly tipping from happening within the area and within these lanes. She also wants to uphold the commitment record of the coming of a safe child friendly city, as described by the UK committee for UNICEF.
The UNICEF branch has suggested that the council submits the city of Cardiff for Child Friendly City recognition, for work such as this initiative.
Further comments by Lynne Thomas, Community Gateway Project Manager, follow as such: “[the collaborative project] draws and principles of co production, we look forward to supporting residents develop and implement their ambitions to create bright, welcoming, safe, green spaces for play and hyper localised community interaction”.
She continues this point by saying “we would love this project to be a catalyst for wider transformation of this used and in the spaces across Grangetown and are keen to explore additional funding and partnership opportunities. “
On the subject of the project she stated “twenty lanes in total were nominated by Grangetown residents as a result of the open calls. She states the support for the project from the community has been blessed and has asked businesses and locals to get behind the funding of such projects.