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Cardiff Lanes Transformed Into Safe, Green Child Friendly Spaces

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A new initiative to transform lanes and alleyways into fun, green and safe spaces for children to play, is being piloted in Grangetown this month.

City Life Cardiff Play Lanes Poster Image
Image creator: Hester Buck

A joint partnership between Cardiff Council, Cardiff University and Grange Pavilion, the Safe Play Lanes Project aims to increase opportunities for children to play safely whilst promoting community cohesion and helping to reduce anti-social behaviours, such as fly-tipping.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “Ensuring children can access safe, fun spaces to play is essential and supports Cardiff’s commitment to becoming globally recognised by the UK Committee for UNICEF, as a Child Friendly City.

“Children have a right to play and by enabling them to play safely near their own homes means that they can enjoy the outdoors, see friends and be near their families. The scheme will help reconnect communities, providing an opportunity for residents to reclaim the space and create welcoming, safe and attractive environments for everyone to enjoy.”

Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets and Environment, said: “The council has a number of initiatives in place, such as the Love Where You Live campaign, to create a sense of pride in communities across the city. Our aim is to make antisocial behaviour such as littering and fly tipping socially unacceptable, so we can work with communities to improve the street scene across the city.

“This new scheme will give a new purpose to the back lanes in Grangetown, so that children can enjoy outdoor activities on their doorsteps in a COVID safe way. By using these public spaces more regularly, and residents taking ‘ownership’ of these areas, we believe antisocial behaviour will reduce.”

Community Gateway Project Manager, Lynne Thomas said: “Community Gateway is delighted to partner with Cardiff Council and Grange Pavilion on this exciting project to transform two spaces in Grangetown. Drawing on 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.

“We would love for this project to be a catalyst for wider transformation of disused and underused spaces across Grangetown and are keen to explore additional funding and partnership opportunities. Twenty lanes in total were nominated by Grangetown residents as a result of the open call; the appetite and support for this project within the community is huge and we encourage businesses and funders who may be able to help us expand the project to get in touch.”

Cardiff’s Child Friendly vision, places the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of the city’s policies, strategies and services.

UNICEF UK has recognised the pioneering role that Cardiff Council has played in establishing the Child Friendly City Programme in the UK and that we have made good progress in embedding children’s rights into our strategies and the way in which we support and nurture our young people.
As a result, UNICEF UK has recommended that the Council submits for Child Friendly City recognition in the Autumn of 2021.

Cllr Merry added: “We will continue to carry out our vision to further embed children’s rights into our communities, ensuring that children and young people are meaningfully involved in the decisions that affect them.”

The scheme is one of several projects to be delivered through the All Wales Play Opportunities Grant which supports and increases play opportunities, in line with the Cardiff Play Sufficiency Assessment.

Local consultation is currently underway and local residents and community organisations will help shape the design of the lanes. If successful, the scheme could be expanded across the city.
Community Gateway is a flagship Cardiff University engagement project committed to building a long-term partnership with Grangetown residents and businesses, creating pathways between the University and community and facilitating the co-production of projects for mutual benefit.

Community Gateway has supported more than 66 community-university projects making connections between University staff, students and Grangetown residents to help bring community-led ideas to life. In 2019, Cardiff University became asset guardian of Grange Pavilion, helping the community raise over £2m to build a high quality, accessible resident-led facility in Grange Gardens which provides affordable space for hire, a community-focused café, coworking spaces and a biodiverse garden and green for play, health and wellbeing and seasonal growing.

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