Voting results will now be considered by district council and Budleigh Town Council

Young people from Budleigh Salterton have had their say on a new sports facility, which is being run as a joint project between Budleigh Salterton Town Council and East Devon District Council.

In 2014, over 300 Budleigh Salterton residents gave their opinion on how to spend money on outdoor sports in the town. Their preferred choices were a new outdoor gym and foot/cycle path improvements for The Green - both of which have been put in place.

Next on the community’s priority list was a sports activity wall (near the football club) with features such as a football goal and basketball or netball net. The money approved for this at the time was £35,000 and the town now has sufficient funding to be able to pay for this facility.

However, since then it has become clear that a full multi-use games area could be put in for the same amount of funding, which would be like the sports wall voted for, but a full pitch rather than just half of one.

However, as the single-sided sports wall was the project voted for, mainly by young people, Budleigh Salterton Town Council and East Devon District Council decided the best thing to do would be to go back to the young people and ask them which option they would prefer.

They were presented with the following two options:

  1. A full multi-use games area
  2. A one-sided sports activity wall, plus money left over to go towards another project in the town

Young people were able to vote at Budleigh Youth Club and Budleigh Guides. In addition, the Scouts and youth teams from the football club were invited to Budleigh Youth Club to have their say. The winning option with 61% was a one-sided sports activity wall plus money left over to go towards another project in the town.

The results of the voting will now be discussed by Budleigh Salterton Town Council and East Devon District Council, who will consider the results and release the funding.

Funding for these projects is available as a result of a number of housing developments in Budleigh Salterton. 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.

Councillor Tom Wright, Trustee of Budleigh Youth Club, East Devon District Councillor and Budleigh Salterton Town Councillor said:

It is great news that the money that has come from developers is being used to provide well needed and long overdue facilities for our young people. These facilities will be available to all and as a result of involvement of our young people in the planning process the facilities and equipment will be what they have asked for.

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council portfolio holder for the environment said:

Thank you to the young people who took part and made this important decision, they will mainly be the ones using it, so it’s only fair that they decide. It will be a great addition to the town and I am looking forward to seeing it when it is completed.

Councillor Chris Kitson, Budleigh Salterton’s Mayor, said:

It is good to recognise the needs of our young people for sports activities in the town, and to involve them in selecting equipment to be provided for their use. Plans will now be made to provide a £15,000 sports activity wall in the recreation ground in Greenway Lane. At our next town council meeting we will discuss what the remaining £20,000 of funding for sports will go towards, this could mean working down the residents’ priority list, waiting for extra money to come in and funding improvements to Lime Kiln skateboard park adjacent to the seafront.