Town and district councils work together to achieve new much needed all-weather sports amenity for Sidmouth

A joint project run between Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council will soon see Sidmouth getting a new sports facility, as work is due to start in Spring 2017 on a new outdoor multi-use games area for the town.

Sidmouth residents originally had their say on how to spend £250,000 on outdoor sports in the town a few years ago – seven projects were successful – most of which have happened now.

According to a residents’ wish list, one of the top priorities was a new all-weather multi-use games area in central or lower Sidmouth, including markings and goals for sports such as basketball, netball, five-a-side football and skill walls, at a cost of £60,000.

The district council and town council decided that the best place for this would be on the site of the outdated, poor quality and tired games area next to the youth centre on Manstone Lane. In the meantime, Devon County Council and Sidmouth Town Council have worked to transfer the land from the county council to the town council, so that the town council can look after and maintain the games area for the community – something they had expressed a wish to do.

The new games area will be free to use for all ages and will have open community access at all times. The floodlights on the old games area are also being refurbished, so the facility can be lit on darker evenings up to an agreed time.

The £60,000 of funding for this project (Section 106 money) is available as a result of a number of housing developments in Sidmouth. Section 106 money is collected from developers and spent by East Devon District Council, which opts to involve the community in how it allocates funds.

East Devon District Council is working in partnership with the company providing the multi-use games area to get it installed. Work is expected to start in early April, with the games area being ready for use in late Spring 2017.

East Devon District Council and Sidmouth Town Council have worked closely on the final design with the young people at Sidmouth Youth Centre, who originally proposed the idea of the games area. For example, the young people particularly wanted it to be in Sidmouth’s colours, the red of the cliffs and the blue of the sea, to match up with a mural they have since had painted on the side of the youth centre.

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

It’s great news that the money, which has come from developers, is being used to provide a much needed amenity for our young people. These facilities will be available to all and as a result of involving our young people in the planning process the games area and the equipment will be what they have asked for.

Thank you to the young people who originally proposed the idea, the community that came out to vote for the sports projects they wanted to see happen and to Sidmouth Youth Centre for helping with the final design. 

 The Chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, Councillor Jeff Turner commented:

It is great news that the project to build the new games area and improve this part of the town is coming to fruition after work by all three councils. I am proud that Sidmouth Town Council will adopt this wonderful new facility to be used by the whole community.