Plus, residents who want to close their streets, temporarily, so kids can play will find it easier thanks to Gov't plans.

Walking gets £1m Government funding but only in cycling cities

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry wants more people to get active and get healthy, with children being a key focus. In order to get more children active, the Department of Health wants to encourage outdoor play.

Only a third of boys and a quarter of girls meet the recommendation for at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. The Department of Health has today announced £5m of funding to encourage children and families to exercise more, including £1.1m for ‘Street Play’ and £1m for walking initiatives.

Play England will use the £1.1m to help residents and encourage children and families to play together on their streets, reviving old favourites like hopscotch and hide-and-seek. This funding will enable Play England help residents close their roads from time to time to allow children and families to play out in a safer environment.

Director of Play England Cath Prisk said:

"Active kids become active adults and we know one of the places kids are most active is on the streets outside their own houses when they are able to simply go out there and play, like most adults did.

"Everyone can do something to make their own communities more playful and we are very happy to be given this opportunity to support residents and local voluntary groups across England in making their own streets playful again.

The £1m for walking initiatives is only available to the eight Cities – including Manchester, Birmingham and Norwich – which were recently awarded the Department for Transport Cycling Cities Ambition Grant.

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