EDDC Chairman Cllr Stuart Hughes, Cllr Maddy Chapman Mayor of Exmouth, Cllr Iain Chubb, Cllr Pauline Stott, Cllr Steve Gazzard, Cllr Pat Graham, Cllr Alison Greenhalgh. Behind them are children from Exeter Road Primary School

Local children who helped design play area get to try out new play equipment worth £48,000

Phear Park’s new improved play area, featuring £48,000 of exciting leisure equipment, was officially declared open on Monday 21 March 2016 by East Devon District Council’s Chairman Councillor Stuart Hughes and Exmouth Town Mayor Councillor Maddy Chapman, who is also ward member for Exmouth Brixington.

The play area project was a joint partnership between East Devon District Council and Exmouth Town Council who have worked closely together to spend Section 106 funding, contributed by developers for every new home created in the town.

Local children and young people from Exeter Road Primary School, Marpool Primary School, Exmouth Community College and Exmouth Children’s Centre decided on the play equipment they wanted the money to be spent on, and chose the final design for the improvements.

Three play area companies submitted their ideas for the play area within a design brief, which was devised by 419 local children and young people in 2015. East Devon District Council then asked around 326 youngsters to vote for their favourite out of the three designs. The winning design won with 44% of all the votes and is the one that has been put in.

At the opening, children from Exeter Road Primary School, who were involved in the project got to try out their choices, which included 13 new pieces of equipment. They all had tremendous fun on a trampoline, basket swing, balancing trail and a chair that rocks and tips.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, said:

This project shows just how much collaborative working between town and district councils can achieve and the opening celebrated this partnership perfectly. East Devon is keen to involve communities in projects like this one and to give people a say in how local funding is spent.

It was very rewarding watching so many children enjoying the equipment that they had chosen and it is immensely satisfying to know that it was paid for by Section 106 funds from new housing developments in Exmouth. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen.

Councillor Maddy Chapman said:

It was a wonderful opening of the improvements to the play area in Phear Park and the students really enjoyed all the equipment they voted for. Well done to all who worked so hard to bring this about. It goes to show that consultation does work well for the benefit of all.