PLANS to build a new play area in Castle Park, Colchester, may still go ahead, even if the Government pulls the plug on funding.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said grants to 132 councils planning to build playgrounds could be scrapped to save money.

The previous Labour government had set aside £235million under its Playbuilder scheme.

Bob Penny, Colchester Council’s parks and recreation manager, said the council was trying to clarify the effect of the announcement on plans for two local playgrounds.

He said: “The park at Castle Park is in the design stage and we are seeking proposals from six different companies for designs for the play area.

“The other one, at High Woods Country Park, could involve a series of play features scattered around the park.

“We went out to consultation with schools on that and are expecting to place orders in October.”

The Castle Park scheme will cost £200,000 and was set to be partly funded by the Playbuilder scheme.

The £45,000 playground at High Woods County Park was to have been paid for entirely by the Playbuilder scheme.

The council is waiting to hear if Playbuilder cash will still be available, but Mr Penny said alternatives might be sought, possibly as part of deals with developers looking to get planning permission for commercial schemes.

He added: “If the schemes are ones we want to deliver, we can go further into funds from agreements with developers.”