Children of Sid Valley help design and choose £29,000 upgrade for Sidford Byes play area

Sidford Byes play area will have £29,000 upgrade

Sidford Byes play area will have £29,000 upgrade - Credit: Archant

Popular site will soon feature basket swing, climbing equipment and aeroskate

Children of the Sid Valley have played a key role in designing and choosing £29,000 of new equipment for a popular recreational spot.

Sidford Byes play area is set to undergo long-awaited improvements and will soon feature a small basket swing, climbing equipment and an aeroskate to simulate skating.

Youngsters from Sidmouth College, Sidbury Primary School and Sidmouth Children’s Centre came up with a brief for the site and then voted for their favourite idea from a choice of two designs.

Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council (EDDC) received £29,000 in section 106 funds – a levy paid by developers for new houses built in the town – and decided to involve the community in choosing how it was spent.

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Town Council chairman Councillor Jeff Turner, said: “I’m really pleased to see this well-used and popular facility getting a much-needed renewal and Sidford as a whole benefitting from nearby development.”

Youngsters were initially asked what type of activities they wanted to do in the play area and a total of 404 then voted on their favourite design provided by companies in line with the children’s brief.

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The winning design by Proludic gained 53 per cent of the overall vote and has been approved by both of the authorities involved.

Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC’s portfolio holder for the environment said: “I’m always delighted to see play areas where local children and young people have been involved in both the design and the final choice of layout and equipment.

“We have been using this approach since 2008, working in partnership with town and parish councils and involving the local community. It always ends up with great results.”

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