Ottery to get new £15,000 facility for youngsters of all ages

Ottery St Mary Town Council and East Devon District Council have worked together to get the brand new sports activity wall that Ottery St Mary residents wanted. The idea was first put forward by 12-year-old Jack Hatswell.

The £15,000 sports wall is due to be put into Winters Lane recreation field by the end of June. It will be free to use and have markings and a goal for sports such as five a side football, basketball / netball and cricket.

The funding for this project (Section 106 money) is available as a result of a number of housing developments in the Ottery St Mary Town Council area. Section 106 money is collected from developers and spent by East Devon District Council, which chooses to involve the community in how it allocates funds.

The sports activity wall has been proposed and chosen by the local community.


Last year, EDDC and a group of Ottery St Mary Town Councillors asked community groups, residents and other organisations to put forward their ideas as to how the £17,300 of available sports funding should be spent. Twelve-year-old  Jack Hatswell proposed the idea of the sports activity wall in Winters Lane.

These ideas were then taken out by EDDC and the Town Council to residents who got to vote on which ones they wanted to happen in the parish of Ottery St Mary. The most popular project, which is receiving £15,000, was for the sports activity wall. This was chosen by nearly half of all the residents that voted. The final design for the games area has been chosen by Ottery St Mary Town Council and Jack. EDDC will now work with the successful company to get it installed. 

Jack said of his sports wall suggestion:

I'm really excited that my idea is going to actually happen! Winters Lane playing field is a bit boring at the moment for people of my age. I thought a football goal, basketball / netball net and cricket stumps would be appealing to young people who want to do more of a variety of sports.

It was great that I got to help pick the final design too. I liked this one as it gives people a larger area to play on, it also has a higher fence so will stop the balls going into the play area.