Have a say on how to spend £250k in Sidmouth


- Credit: Archant

Ideas shortlisted for sports cash bonanaza


- Credit: Archant

RESIDENTS can decide how to splash £250,000 of community cash on Friday (December 6) after a host of ideas were shortlisted to benefit from the cash.

The huge sum is for sports projects in Sidmouth, Sidbury, Sidford and Salcombe Regis and 11 projects that are in the running.

These include a pair of multi-use games areas totalling £110,000, an outdoor gym, and improvements to rugby, cricket, tennis and football venues. An adventure trail, cycle routes and outdoor table tennis tables have also been put forward.

Householders can vote for their choice during the town’s late-night shopping event from 5pm to 8pm at a stall situated in Market Place.

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Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council (EDDC) have teamed up for the initiative.

The money, known as Section 106 funding, has come from developers who have built new homes in the parish.

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Every new property built sees a contribution made towards sport and play - and Sidmouth has accumulated £250,000.

Communities are then asked how the money should be spent.

Residents, organisations and voluntary and community groups in the parish came up with a range of suggestions which are listed below. Requests for funding total more than £216,000.

Proposals gaining the most votes will be the ones which get the go-ahead.

Residents of any age can vote - as long as they live within the area covered by Sidmouth Town Council.

EDDC has vowed to make sure that the final vote is representative of the actual population of the whole parish and all age groups.

This may mean further voting events need to take place to allow more residents of certain ages or locations to vote.

Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC cabinet member for environment, said: “We’ve had some great suggestions. The projects that get the most votes will be delivered.”

Sidmouth Town Council chairman John Hollick added: “Sidmouth has had a number of developments over the years which have promised funding for sports. The public now get to have a say in how to spend that money. I would encourage everyone to take part - don’t waste this opportunity to have your say.”

The funding has been divided into two pots - £150,000 for ‘community projects’ put forward by the public and £100,000 for ‘strategic projects’ suggested by the town council.

There is £150,000 available for ideas put forward by the community and residents can vote for up to three projects from:

•A. A new all weather multi-use games in the north of Sidmouth (possibly in the Stowford area) including markings and goals for sports such as basketball, netball and five-a-side football. Project cost: £50,000.

• B. An all-age outdoor gym in Sidmouth, free to use. This would be traditional gym equipmnent suitable for outdoor use. Project cost: £15,000.

• C. Repainting the courts at Sidford Tennis Club. To make sure the surface is good enough for people to continue to play tennis. The total project cost is £8,000 and £6,000 has been applied for.

• D. Improvement of Sidmouth Rugby Club’s two pitches and training area at Sidford. This would level the field and put in a drainage system. The total cost of the project is £190,000 and £40,000 has been applied for.

• E. A new all-weather multi-use games area in central or lower Sidmouth including markings and goals for sports such as basketball, netball, five-a-side football and skill walls. Project cost: £60,000.

• F. Outdoor table tennis tables in Sidmouth. These would be permanently fixed into the ground. Project cost: £8,000.

• G. Replacing the broken training lights at Sidmouth Amateur Football Club so they can train safely on dark evenings. Project cost: £1,600.

• H. Levelling the current outfield and refurbishing the practice nets at Sidmouth Cricket Club to allow for more coaching and competitive matches. Project cost: £25,000

• I Adding an all-weather strip to the edge of the cricket square at Sidbury Cricket Club to allow more people to play. Project cost: £9,000.

There is £100,000 available for Sidmouth Town Council’s strategic projects – and residents get to pick which one gets the money. The two options are:

• A. Improvements to cycling around Sidmouth. A cycle route linking some residential areas with the Woolbrook area, in particular to allow easier cycling to school and college. Including improved cycle parking at the schools and local shops. It might be the first part of a future Sidmouth to Feniton cycle route.

• B. An adventure activity area for children and adults. A selection of sports activities all in one place like a fitness trail, climbing wall, outdoor gym equipment.

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