Stonebridge Adventure Playground saved by Brent Council

Town hall bosses vote to fund financially-troubled project

Children, parents and staff are celebrating after Brent Council voted to fund a play area threatened with closure.

Stonebridge Adventure Playground has had its future hanging in the balance for much of the year, but it was agreed during an executive meeting of the council last week to keep it running for a further two years.

The playground, off Hillside in Stonebridge, will continue to be run by the Brent Play Association (BPA) and offer after-school and Saturday activities in term-time and activities during holidays.

Glynis Knight, from the BPA, who has worked in Stonebridge for more than 30 years, said: “I have witnessed first hand how children from the local community have used the centre and playground over the years as a ‘home from home’ where they meet friends, take part in exciting activities like camps, sports, arts and crafts and much more. We now see three generations of families using the facilities. It’s like a little oasis of fun in the midst of this high density area.

“We want to thank all our volunteers and supporters who have backed our campaign to keep Stonebridge open and free.”

When the council considered stopping funding for the playground, a campaign was launched which attracted the attention of boxer Audley Harrison. The former Olympic gold medallist, who grew up in Brent, told the Times last year that he used the playground as a child.

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A council report, which approved the funding, said that the adventure playground is widely valued by the local community and that closure of the playground “would be unpopular and controversial”.

Martin Francis, a trustee of the Brent Play Association and a former headteacher at Park Lane Primary School, praised Brent Council for its decision.

He said: “This is good for children and families in Stonebridge and one which recognises the importance of adventurous play activities to children’s development.

“It is positive news amidst all the concern about school playing fields being sold off and playground space lost through school expansions.”