COUNCIL chiefs want to switch funding from an under-threat play scheme to focus on broken families in a deprived estate.

Caia Park, Wrexham, has major child protection and family support issues which need financial resources diverting into them they said yesterday.

But this may come at the expense of funding for the award-winning Venture play scheme in Caia Park, which managers claim could have to close if the cash dries up from the council.

Yesterday Wrexham Council chiefs insisted that a funding injection of nearly £300,000 from the Welsh Assembly Government, over three years, should be enough to keep it going.

Further talks were held yesterday between Venture managers and council chiefs over tendering for further cash from the authority.

Wrexham council has pulled the plug on £170,000 core funding per year sparking fears it may have to close.

Wrexham council leader Aled Robert said: “There is no cut in funding to Caia Park.

“There are a lot of child protection issues and children coming into community care.

“In Caia Park there is a big gap in services and a need to provide additional family and child support to them in their own homes.”

Wrexham’s director of children’s services Terry Garner added: “Let’s be clear the council is not looking to close The Venture.

“The cash from the Welsh Assembly Government should be enough to keep it going.

“But the council is realigning its extra money through a proper tendering process,” Mr Garner added.

Venture founder and Wrexham councillor Malcolm King has welcomed the WAG award but said it would not be enough to keep it going.

He has said without core funding it would not be able to meet its insurance bills.

The project was chosen by the Assembly Government in 2003 as the model for its flagship programme of integrated children’s centres.

It is thought to be the largest self-build adventure playground in the UK.