Walkway plea for SVA cash

PUBLISHED: 13:28 14 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 17 June 2010

ONE way to benefit Sidmouth's community through a bequest to the Sid Vale Association would be to help fund a footbridge to Connaught Gardens.

ONE way to benefit Sidmouth's community through a bequest to the Sid Vale Association would be to help fund a footbridge to Connaught Gardens.Reading of the £1.5million bequest to the association from member Keith Owen, Freddy Wedderburn, chairman of Sidmouth Millennium Walkway Group, was quick to explain why its project would make a suitable candidate for funding.He said: "This is a 'one-off' capital project to provide a much needed easier access to the jewel of the Jurassic Coast and Sidmouth's western beaches. "It will be of tremendous benefit to the elderly, infirm, those in wheelchairs and mothers with young families."It will provide a vital improvement in road safety, since it will separate people from traffic, which is now an increasing hazard when crossing Peak Hill Road [from Manor Road car park]."Devon County Council, EDDC and Sidmouth Town Council have indicated they are not in a position to fund the Connaught Walkway themselves, so it is now up to us all."Mr Wedderburn said before his death, Mr Owen had shown "repeated interest and support" in the project and was kept informed of its progress."We strongly believe this project fulfils his wishes for the community of Sidmouth and deserves to benefit from his public-spirited generosity."The cost of the walkway is provisionally estimated at around £340-£360,000, of which £20,000 has already been raised through donations and pledges. The SVA cannot spend the capital sum - still to be finalised - from the Keith Owen Trust, and must use its income on projects that will enhance and benefit the community through voluntary activities. This would include tree and bulb planting, attracting walkers and visitors by providing seats and maintaining footpaths, involving youngsters and promoting SVA through competitions.

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