Work to begin on �40k Sidmouth play area revamp

Excitement over Ham transformation

THE Ham play area in Sidmouth is soon to get its’ much needed and eagerly anticipated improvements.

Local children have been involved in re-designing the play area, and 387 Sidmouth residents chose which one of three designs from different play companies they most wanted to see installed. Sidmouth Town Council have now endorsed the results and work is due to begin on the play area next week.

The winning design was by Hags and got 71% of the vote (including 69% of the children and young people’s votes) and includes adding in climbing rocks, a basket swing, a tall spinning item and a zip wire.

A group of local parents started to work towards improving the play area some time ago. Since September last year, members of Sidmouth Town Council and representatives from this parents’ group have been working with EDDC’s officers to consider improvements to the play area. Between September and December, the parents and EDDC officers worked with 82 children at four schools in Sidmouth to find out how they prefer to play. They discovered that climbing, a zip wire, spinning and an unusual swing were the most popular activities. The parameters of the children were put into a document which was sent off to several play companies. Taking into account the children’s ideas, they put forward their suggestions for the design, 387 residents voted on which one of the three designs they wanted at a play event on 13 April.

The budget for the improvements is �40,000. Section 106 funding (money from developers from developments in the area) for play is contributing �20,000 to the scheme, another �10,000, which has been set aside to improve play areas in the town, will come from Sidmouth Town Council. The remaining �10,000 is coming from the Sidmouth-based Keith Owen Fund.