A new £112,000 games area which will be able to host walking and regular netball and football will be open for the New Year, if all goes to plan.
Construction work, at the Newton Poppleford Playing Field, off Back Lane, began today (Monday, 24 October) and will continue for the next eight weeks – weather permitting.
The project, being led by Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council, has been funded by East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Section 106 money and Community Infrastructure Levy funds.
The playing field already boasts tennis courts, football and cricket pitches and a children's playground which are all well-used by the community.
It is hoped this new area will encourage the formation of new teams for people of all ages and abilities for activities like netball, walking football, walking netball, five-a-side football etc, all year round.
Councillor Chris Burhop, Chair of Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council, said
This new multi-use games area, or ‘MUGA’, is the result of several years of consulting with the local community, planning and hard work. The parish council is therefore delighted that this project can finally get underway.
The new MUGA will be a step change in facilities in the parish and, having an all – weather surface, the area is bound to be well used by a wide range of residents all year round. As a parish council we are committed to continue to expand the facilities of this parish, especially for sport and exercise and we will be looking at what we can do next.
I hope we can see new teams being formed from the parish to make use of this facility, such as netball, five-a-side football and futsal. Many years ago we had a netball team based in the village which had to disband when their court was resurfaced and netball lines were not replaced. It would be great to see netball back.
Councillor Nick Hookway, EDDC’s portfolio holder for culture, sport, leisure and tourism, added:
East Devon District Council is delighted to provide funds to support Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council in extending sports facilities for its residents.
This new games area will have a big impact on improving the health and wellbeing of the local community as regular exercise is key to good all-round health for all age groups across the community.
As football and netball are such popular sports, let's hope that these new facilities will help to develop local talent to meet national standards.