Developing and managing play spaces - community toolkit

The Developing and Managing Play Spaces community toolkit has been designed for anyone who takes responsibility for managing or developing a play space in a community. This may be a community council, local play association or a residents group.

The toolkit is intended to provide a single source of support and signposting for community groups to navigate some of the challenges of managing or developing a play space.

What is it designed to do?

This toolkit is designed to provide clear and concise information on the main themes under the following headings:

Guidance is specific information intended to help understand a particular area of play space management or development.

Tools are practical, step-by-step guides or templates for conducting work linked to managing and developing play spaces.


This toolkit can be used as a whole for the process of developing and managing a play space, alternatively, sections can be used independently to focus on aspects of the work. It is structured so that the information is in a logical order for stages of the design and management process. For example, participation and engagement comes before design, which in turn comes before procurement.

How do I use it?

This toolkit is divided into two sections:

Design focuses on new play space design and includes topics such as participation, procurement, design, health and safety.

Management focuses on the mechanics of managing an existing or newly built play space and includes topics such as maintenance and inspection, risk management and insurance.

Why has it been developed?

The Big Lottery Fund Fair Share Programme on Ynys Môn began in 2002 with a view to improving opportunities for children’s play. Play Wales, working with the Community Foundation in Wales and the Fair Share Panel on Ynys Môn developed a project to improve play spaces.

As part of this Play Wales was funded to develop a community toolkit that fills a gap in support for groups that manage play areas, to ensure the development of quality play spaces that are accessible.

Download Developing and Managing Play Spaces | view online 

Read review of the community toolkit


To support the work of developing and managing play spcaes the templates referred to in the toolkit are available to download below in Microsoft Word format.

Example design tender - expression of interest

Example development tender - expression of interest 

Example memorandum of understanding 

Example risk management policy

Play space access assessment

Play space audit tool

Playing out questionnaire

Risk-benefit assessment

Routine play space checks

Scoring sheet - expression of interest