Imperial Recreation Ground will receive £70,000 of funding for its play area

Local children select designs for eagerly anticipated improvements to play areas in Exmouth

East Devon District Council and Exmouth Town Council have been working closely together to spend a total of £118,000 on improvements to Phear Park and Imperial Recreation Ground play areas.Phear Park will receive £48,000, while Imperial Recreation Ground will get £70,000. The money has been contributed by developers through Section 106 funding for play areas, which is given by developers for every new home created in the town. East Devon chooses to involve the community in how it spends this money.

Children from Exmouth were given a choice of three designs for each play area and then voted for their favourites. The designs were provided by companies who followed a design brief devised by the children last year, when East Devon visited Exeter Road Primary School, Marpool Primary School, Exmouth Community College and Exmouth Children’s Centre. The council talked to 419 children and young people to find out what type of activities they wanted most in the play areas.

Of the 326 children and young people who voted, 44% chose the winning design for Phear Park and 51% chose the winning design for Imperial Recreation Ground. The final voting took place in assemblies at Marpool Primary School, as well as at a special meeting for a selection of students at Exeter Road Primary School and Exmouth Community College, and at two Exmouth Children’s Centre sessions.

The designs, which have now been approved by Exmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council, will be installed this year.

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council Portfolio holder for the Environment said:

I would like to thank all the children and young people in the town who have given their views on the type of equipment they wanted and then voted on the resulting designs. As the young people are the ones who use these play areas, we at East Devon District Council know how important it is that they get what they want.

Councillor Maddie Chapman, Mayor of Exmouth, said:

I am very happy with the proposed new play areas, especially since they take into account the extensive public consultation implemented by East Devon District Council over the past year. I am sure that these improved sites will be a positive new asset for the local community.