Play equipment to return to Manstone after community funding found

Back row: Lilly Lee, 9, and Alfie Harvey,8. Front row: Eithan Lee,6, Poppy Harvey, 5, and Brody Bray

Back row: Lilly Lee, 9, and Alfie Harvey,8. Front row: Eithan Lee,6, Poppy Harvey, 5, and Brody Bray, 4. - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth play park which was removed at the end of last year will be replaced after £30,000 in community funding was found.

Youngsters were left with barely anything to play on when the climbing frame in the Manstone playground, in Manstone Lane, was removed by East Devon District Council (EDDC).

The Herald previously reported how parents and grandparents had been left ‘disgusted’ by the lack of equipment for children to play on.

EDDC told the Herald at the time that the equipment had been removed because its condition had deteriorated to the point where, despite numerous repairs, it could no longer guarantee the safety of children using it.

At the time, Angie Carney, a community development manager at Sidmouth Salvation Army, based at the youth centre next door, expressed her disappointment at the playground equipment being replaced.

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Speaking last month, she said: “I meet many parents who are working very hard at making ends meet and bringing up their children to know they are noticed, valued and loved.

“I understand that budgets are being stretched in these days, but this will feel like a huge blow to this, too often overlooked, part of our community.”

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A total of £30,000 was needed to replace the equipment and district councillor Stuart Hughes claims that funding has now been found.

Cllr Hughes said he hoped the playground would become a facility ‘for all ages’.

He added: “I was instrumental in getting East Devon to agree to put £15,000 towards Manstone play park and Keith Owen Fund has indicated a contribution of £10.000 and the town council, which will take over the play park once its refurbished, will contribute £5.000.

“There will be a consultation and I would hope that children of all ages will take the opportunity to say what they want to see re new apparatus and it’s important to cater for all ages and not forgetting the toddlers.”

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