How to use a PlayZone site:

    Will the PlayZones be gated? How can I get in?

    We are investigating different management methods on how access to PlayZones might be delivered. That method will be directed by community feedback. There will be a requirement to provide free community time, time for programmed activities and potentially at some sites, some private bookable timeslots.  

    Will I have to pay to use a PlayZone?  If so, how much?

    This will depend on how the community would like each PlayZone to be used, managed and maintained. Private hire of a PlayZone might be charged, for example, a local sports club hiring the site for a training session for their club. We will also work with sporting and community partners to provide FREE community sports and activity sessions. There will also be allocated FREE community-use time that will be programmed in, so that everyone can access a PlayZone.

    What are the proposed operating hours?

    We hope that PlayZone will be open for use year-round. Hours and programming will be shaped by the community consultation and application process.

    Building the PlayZone sites:

    Do PlayZone sites require planning permission? 

    Yes, if the new PlayZone site requires major changes to the layout or structure, or does not already have floodlights.

    What is the benefit of a PlayZone over other upgrade opportunities?

    The benefits are:

    • PlayZones are community focused
    • The Football Foundation is offering up to 75% funding for the cost
    • Funding is solely for small community facilities (approximately 30m x 20m), which is unprecedented

    Have other councils successfully taken part in the PlayZone programme? Are there examples?

    It is a very new programme. There are some pilot projects, including Sandwell in Birmingham.

    How will the floodlights be managed?

    To qualify for PlayZone funding sites must be available for use all year round. This requires the use of floodlights for controlled hours, to ensure optimum visibility for participants and a safer playing experience when in use during the darker months. We will be working with engineers and our planning department to design a scheme that will mitigate the impact of new lighting on areas outside the PlayZone space.

    More about PlayZones and the funding behind them:

    Where will the funding come from for the PlayZone sites?

    Most funding will come from the Football Foundation, who will provide up to 75% of the build costs. The programme requires partnership funding for the remaining 25+%. This can come from various available sources, such as external funding grants, and funding linked to past planning approvals. It will not come from council tax, service charges, or council rent. PlayZone sites will have maintenance plans to ensure that the standard of the playing area is retained.

    Will Islington Council make money from PlayZones?

    This is not the aim of the PlayZones programme. If community feedback supports a model for income generation from private hire sessions, all income generated will be used to cover maintenance costs, running costs, and eventual resurfacing of the PlayZone area to ensure high-quality sports facilities.

    What happens if a site is unsuccessful at gaining PlayZone funding?

    If residents want improvements made to the site, then council officers will consider other potential sources of funding that could be used to rejuvenate the space. However, this is not guaranteed to happen.

    Will PlayZones have some ownership over the site if their funding is used on it?

    No. However, the Football Foundation requires that a site benefiting from their funding remains functional as a PlayZone for at least 10 years after its upgrade.