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Charity Bristol Playbus to close due to funding cuts

The group says it is 'unable to provide the services' after funding cuts. Credit: ITV News West Country

A much-loved Bristol charity has announced it's being forced to close due to funding cuts.

For 45 years the Bristol Playbus has provided play spaces for children in areas of the city which lack facilities, but in a Facebook post the charity says "massive cuts" mean the service must come to an end.

The inside of the bus offers play spaces and sensory experiences. Credit: ITV News West Country

Established in 1974, the charity uses a double decker bus to provide a space for play and music in Bristol and the surrounding councils. Writing on their Facebook page, the group said:

"Due to massive cuts in funding for play over the past couple of years, we are unable to continue to provide the services we would wish and so have taken the decision to close."

The charity won funding through ITV's People's Projects in 2013.

Credit: ITV News West Country

The charity is set to close next month, though many of its services will continue to be provided through partner organisations.

Reacting to the closure, those with memories of the Playbus said it was "the end of an era".

The experience has been described as a 'rite of passage' by some on social media. Credit: ITV News West Country

A former staff member wrote: "Very, very sad. Bristol Playbus saved my children's Playgroup and helped launch me on a 30+ years voluntary sector career."

Another added: "My heart goes out to all those children and parents who will miss a great opportunity to play and learn new skills in a safe and loving environment."

Playbus says it will hold a farewell celebration for people to "share memories" before the service closes.

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