�40k Sidmouth play area hope

MORE than �40,000 could be spent transforming a seafront play area for Sidmouth children.

MORE than �40,000 could be spent transforming a Sidmouth seafront play area for children.

Sidmouth town councillors want youngsters and their families to help decide what new equipment will be installed in an “exciting” major refurbishment at The Ham.

Residents will get their first glimpse of several different proposals for the play area at a public exhibition on April 13.

Councillors last week agreed to apply for �10,000 from the Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund to boost the bid.

They have already set aside �31,000 towards the project.

Councillors have planned for two possible “phases” of refurbishment- one with cash already secured, and another with Keith Owen money they hope to be handed.

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Town clerk, Trina Jarrett, said several companies will be asked to come up with designs to re-vamp the play area.

“For some time now, together with local parents, we’ve been trying to raise money to refurbish the play area,” said Mrs Jarrett. “Now we’re hoping to be able to do a nice new project down there. On the afternoon of April 13, at The Ham, there will be a consultation on the range of equipment. Young people themselves can choose what goes in.

“We’re going to get companies to come forward with their visions. April 13 will be the time to share with people what has come back to us.”

More than half of the bid’s proposed total cost will come from a cash kitty, secured from developers, that can only be spent on play and recreation projects.

Under a section 106 agreement - a legal addendum attached to district council planning permission- developers are obliged to make a financial contribution to improve community facilities in order to redress any impact additional homes might have on local infrastructure.

Proposed work at The Ham play area will utilise �21,000 of section 106 money. Sidmouth Town Council has pledged a further �10,000 towards the project.