Geographies for play in austere times

John H. McKendrick*, Peter Kraftl, Sarah Mills, Sarah Gregorius, Grace Sykes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This concluding essay to a collection of 10 papers examining, Best of times to worst of times? Appraising the changing landscape of play in the UK, reviews six key themes that emerge – re-fuelling longstanding tensions within playwork; organisational legacy of the investment years; broad acceptance of the wider value of play in society; the need to develop a critical play intelligence within the sector; the reconfiguration of play geographies and the impact of play provision on local play cultures; and the need for a much more central focus on play cultures in our enquiry. Without question, Austerity has undermined the public investment in play and play services that characterised the UK in early years of the Millennium. Nevertheless, for every ‘threat’ that this poses, others are able and willing to conceptualise this as an opportunity to reprioritise play priorities. It is argued that play is resilient, and adept an adapting to the changing realities of the financial landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Play
Issue number3
Early online date23 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • austerity
  • geographies of play
  • play
  • play provision


Dive into the research topics of 'Geographies for play in austere times'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this