Electric car charging points to be installed at Sidmouth’s Manstone Park

The charging points will be for visitors to the football club and the local community. Picture: Gett

The charging points will be for visitors to the football club and the local community. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Two charging points for electric vehicles are to be installed in the car park of Sidmouth Town Football Club.

District and county councillor Stuart Hughes is to provide around £5,000 from his allocation of the Local Projects Fund, which enables county council members to support community projects.

The charging points will be outside the football club's premises at Manstone Park, the recreation ground owned by the town council and used by Sidmouth AFC on match days.

The news comes soon after the town council agreed to support the idea of a new 100-capacity spectator stand at Manstone Park to be used by the club.

Cllr Hughes, who is president of Sidmouth AFC, said: "I think maybe they'll be one of the only football clubs to have charging points for electric vehicles.

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"They can be used by the home team, the visiting teams and also the local community that live around the Manstone area.

"Eventually people will be driving around in electric cars, so we're going to need the infrastructure to charge them.

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"Of course, as the years go by, the visiting team coaches or minibuses will also be electric anyway, so they can charge their vehicles up while their team is playing.

"With the climate emergency and the green agenda this seems to be the way forward.

"Eventually you'll see car charging points all over Sidmouth because that's the way things are evolving."

He added that the club will also get a cash boost from the payments for car charging.

Charlie Nicolle from the football club committee said: "Stuart confirmed to us earlier in the week that he was willing to fund the installation.

"As club president he's always been a great supporter of the club, as has the whole of the town council.

"We, the club committee, like to see ourselves very much as a community-minded club, wanting to improve the local environment wherever we can.

"The installation of EV charging points would certainly help to do that."

Although Cllr Hughes is enabling people in the Sidmouth area to power up their vehicles, he is also helping to discourage motorists from driving too fast.

He is going to pay for a vehicle activated 20mph sign in Sidbury, to support the work of the community speedwatch group.

The cost, of around £2,000, will come from his Locality Budget, another pot of money allocated to councillors to fund projects in their wards.

Cllr Hughes said: "I promised to pay for one of the vehicle activated signs on the Cotford road when the residents of Sidbury launched their community speedwatch last year."

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