Third North Herts play scheme to be saved
A SECOND Hitchin play project which was under threat of closure will be saved for the time-being, and it’s looking hopeful that funding can also be secured for it in the long-term.
The Purwell Stay and Play Project was due to be axed alongside the Westmill Play Project in Hitchin and Icknield Play Project in Letchworth GC.
But it now looks likely that all three of the schemes may get a reprieve. Both Westmill and Icknield projects have recently received funding from their respective area committees, as previously reported by The Comet, and North Herts District Council (NHDC) councillors in the Walsworth area in Hitchin are confident they can find money to save the Purwell scheme.
Cllr Bernard Lovewell said: “We support the projects, and we are looking into ways of finding the money to do that.
“There are all sorts of ways of trying to fund it, which we are looking into. We have ward budgets, and Cllr Ray Shakespeare Smith has a county council grant.
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“We are fully behind this. We can certainly support it financially in the immediate future, and we want to make sure that it has a secure long term future too. There will be the funds for it to run longer.
“It is a very important project, and we want to show our support.”
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Chairman of Hitchin area committee Cllr Judi Billing, welcomed the good news. She said: “I’m delighted that good progress is being made on finding ways to keep the vital play programmes alive and well in Westmill and Purwell.
“It’s great that Hitchin Committee was able to take a lead in preventing what really was a cut too far. The proposal to end these schemes would have badly affected a large number of children who badly need this programme.”
The Purwell scheme, which is run from Purwell Primary School, runs play sessions after school two nights a week for children between the ages of four and 11.