�40k Sidmouth play area boost

A CAMPAIGNING mum-of-three is “chuffed” more than �40,000 will be spent transforming a play area for Sidmouth children.

A CAMPAIGNING mum-of-three is “chuffed” more than �40,000 will be spent transforming a play area for Sidmouth children.

Coco Hodgkinson, 33, will be among parents, youngsters and residents asked next month how cash should be used at The Ham- nearly three years after she and a group of mums pleaded for a re-vamp there.

The project this week got a �10,000 boost when Sidmouth Town Council revealed its bid for Sid Vale Association Keith Owen Trust cash was successful.

Several play companies’ proposals for the site will be showcased for the first time at a fun day on Wednesday, April 13.

Families can vote for their favourite design and kids can enjoy a bouncy castle and circus skills among fun and games from 2pm to 6pm.

“I’m really chuffed, its fantastic news. I think it will benefit lots of children and families,” said Coco.

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The Alexandria Road resident and other mums wrote to civic leaders in 2008 and won their support. Town and district councils and parents have since worked together on a scheme to improve the play area.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) this week said the project was “much needed” and “eagerly anticipated”.

A spokesperson added its officers quizzed 82 children at four schools in Sidmouth between September and December last year over their play preferences.

More than half of the scheme’s total cost, �21,000, will come from ‘section 106’ money- cash secured by EDDC from developers as a condition of planning permission.

Sidmouth Town Council pledged �10,000 of its funds towards the project. A further �10,000 from the Keith Owen Fund means driving forces now have �41,000 at their disposal.