PLAYSCHEMES have been given a boost through extra local authority funding.

Youngsters aged eight to 13 in Redcar and Cleveland Borough, will benefit from more opportunities during the long summer holiday.

The money was provided as a result of a best value exercise completed by borough council, which revealed playschemes to be an area which it could do more to improve.

The package means double the number of places will be available - up to about 5,000 - and there will be more venues from summer 2002. Also, the council will be able to employ 14 extra playleaders and extend the scheme to cover holidays in October and February.

There will also be more sports activities and increased provision for youngsters with special needs or disabilities and a huge outdoor play event every summer, as well as Saturday morning and early evening play clubs by April 2002.

The playschemes will be developing a partnership with local learning centres throughout the borough to provide parents with the chance to learn while their children play