A STATE-OF-THE-ART playground project in Winchcombe has fallen victim to government cutbacks.

Gloucestershire County Council said yesterday that following the Government’s decision to withdraw funding for the Playbuilder scheme, nine playground schemes in the county, costing £380,000, would no longer go ahead.

It means that a planned £40,000 revamp of the playground at the King George V Playing Field in Winchcombe will either be shelved or put on hold until the town council can find alternative funding.

Councillor Ron Harrison, chairman of Winchcombe Town Council Playing Fields Committee, said he was disappointed with the decision, particularly as the council had consulted local schoolchildren about the sort of equipment they wanted to see in the new playground.

“We were quite excited about getting it going. It’s an area of the town that doesn’t have a lot of facilities for the eight to 13- year-olds this was being targeted at,” said Coun Harrison.

Equipment being considered for the scheme included climbing nets, timber trails, cradle swings and, possibly, a zip wire.

Coun Harrison said he had not entirely given up hope that something could be done in future.

“The initiative has been taken and we are going to see if anything is available, either from grants or from our own resources.

“The children are going to be disappointed. We are not giving up,” said Coun Harrison.

The county council has said that a commitment to two new playground schemes, in Chipping Campden and Bledington, will be honoured as work has already begun on them.

It is still waiting to hear whether funding will be made available for projects where work has not started but contracts have been entered into.

Bledington parish councillor Lizzie Aldridge said she was “utterly delighted” the village’s £80,000 playground scheme was still going ahead.