GWENT will get almost £250,000 to develop play opportunities as part of a Wales-wide scheme.

Deputy minister for tackling poverty Vaughan Gething announced the £1.25 million funding boost today.

Councils will be able to use it to improve play areas, buy portable play equipment for children living in disadvantaged communities, improve access for disabled children and encourage street play.

Caerphilly will receive £77,558, Blaenau Gwent £28,028, Torfaen £36,705, Monmouthshire £36,980, and Newport £60,676.

The money has to be spent by March 31, 2014.

Torfaen Play Service manager Julian Davenne said it was “exciting” that play was being taken seriously in Wales. In Torfaen the funding will be linked to our play sufficiency action plan, and we will would be used to increase play provision, improve inclusive practice, generate play awareness, create safer play provisions and provide play training, he said.

for our workforce,” he said.

Deputy minister Mr Gething said: “We are committed to doing what we can to improve the standard of life in communities and help our children to live healthy lives.”