Is your local playground a hub for happy children or a neglected wasteland that was abandoned long ago?  Public play facilities come under scrutiny today as the Association of Play Industries (API) launches #nowhere2play, a campaign calling on parents and carers across the UK to share their views.

The API, of which x {INSERT COMPANY NAME} is a member, campaigns for policy recognition of the value of play and has launched the #nowhere2play campaign because it is increasingly concerned about the decline in public play provision, particularly in disadvantaged communities.   A Freedom of Information investigation by Children and Young People Now magazine in 2013 found that 31 per cent of local authorities closed playgrounds between 2010 and 2013 and that spending on play fell by 38.8 per cent during the same period (£67.9m in 2010/11 vs £41.5m in 2013/14).


Families are asked to share their views on the state of local play facilities, their concerns about where their children will play in future and the role of government in protecting children’s right to play at (  They can also share images of poor quality local play facilities across social media including Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and  Facebook using the campaign hashtag #nowhere2play.

Michael Hoenigmann, API Chair, says: “The benefits of active outdoor play to child development, health and well-being as well as to local communities and wider society are well-evidenced.  At a time when physical inactivity poses as big a threat to public health as smoking, it’s hugely important that children can access high quality places to play and be active.  It’s a worrying trend that local authority funding cuts are denying children up and down the country the opportunity – and their fundamental human right – to play.  The #nowhere2play campaign will shed light on the views of families using – or not able to use – local playgrounds.  We hope its findings will provide a rallying cry to policy makers that play matters and that a play strategy should form part of the government’s soon-to-be announced national obesity framework.”

Children’s right to play is enshrined in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  England is the only UK nation without a national play strategy following the coalition administration’s decision to halt its implementation in 2011.

The API is an active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for A Fit and Healthy Childhood, Children’s Play Policy Forum and Federation of Sports and Play Associations., January 2014

Almost 2 years on and performing as well as ever!


In Spring 2014 Notts Sport completed the delivery of a full size 106m x 70m 3rd Generation (3G) pitch at St Matthews RC High School in Manchester and over 18 months on the facility is still looking and performing immaculately today as confirmed during recent independent testing for inclusion within the Football Association 3G Football Turf Pitch Register .

Back in 2011, Notts Sport began working with the School to developed a project to replace a natural turf pitch in an extremely poor condition that the School were unable to use for much of the year as a result.  After a review of the various upgrade options available to improve the natural turf areas at the School, the project team determined that a fully compliant FIFA 1* 3G football pitch was critical for the School to deliver curriculum sport as well as providing an opportunity to provide much needed community facilities.  As a result Notts Sport began to develop the full design of the pitch includhing all aspects of the project with the aim of increasing availability and the quality of the sports provision at the School and the community.


The project was fully financed through Notts Sports unique fast Track Funding scheme as Ian Blair (School Business Manager) explains:

“We came across Notts Sport at a seminar where they were launching their Fast Track funding. As a result we commissioned a full sized 3G pitch we never thought we could afford. Notts Sport throughout were very helpful with discussing with Governors, Senior Leadership Team (SLT), PE staff and extended schools staff all the options and funding. They also advised on the quality and specifications we needed, dealt with all plans and planning process. They acted as professional project advisers and handled the tendering process. The Fast Track Funding was the key to our affording a 3G facility which our PE department really needed as this was not affordable within our BSF rebuild.”

As Notts Sport make their return on the supply of the chosen synthetic grass there were no upfront fees for the School to absorb and therefore the entire project cost was identified in the contract sum and through Fast Track Funding, eliminating development costs and ensuring that the feasibility of the scheme in the early stages was as robust as possible.   This unique approach means that Schools can engage with Notts Sport safe in the knowledge that they will receive expert guidance to establish the viability of the scheme without expensive fees.

As part of the overall contract, Notts Sport designed and managed additional works including a new cross country running track and the resurfacing of existing macadam playing courts.

Since 2014 Notts Sport have been developing a revolutionary approach to the design/construction of 3G pitches and recently launched the FIFA / World Rugby / GAA and Rugby League compliant ShockWave Eco-Base system which provides major benefits to new 3G pitches including reduced capital and life costs as well as shorter construction periods, reduced amounts of quarried aggregates and a 100% recycable combined upper base and shockpad solution       .

If you have any questions or queries then please do not hesitate to contact Notts Sport by emailing or by phoning – 01455 883 730