Furzehill in Sidbury.

East Devon has invested over £150,000 on plush new play areas across the district

Two newly refurbished play areas in East Devon were officially opened by Cllr Andrew Moulding, the Chairman of East Devon District Council.

A site in Furzehill, Sidbury and another at St Marks Road, Honiton were redeveloped to meet the needs of the children in the area. 

The play area in Furzehill was designed with help from local children from Sidbury Church of England Primary School, as well as those living in the community. A further 150 people were involved in East Devon’s consultation exercise.

The children’s help was invaluable in identifying the activities they wanted to see in their local park.

The design, manufacture and installation of the play park was carried out by Wicksteed Leisure, an established UK based play equipment manufacturer, who were awarded the work at this site, after a competitive tendering process where suppliers were asked to provide the best design and quality based on the children’s consultation responses.

The council’s budget of £30,000 for the play area was supplemented by the Keith Owen Fund who provided a further £15,000 to enhance the site with a zip wire.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon’s portfolio holder for the Environment, said:

This demonstrates East Devon’s commitment to providing good quality facilities to allow our young people to develop their play and social well-being in the outdoors.

Sidbury ward member, Cllr David Barratt, said:

Local resident Dan Turner contacted me about the Furzehill play area. Dan had seen refurbished play areas elsewhere and we both agreed that the outdated and sorry looking play area at Furzehill was long overdue a facelift.

I got the support of engineer Dave Cook and community officer Jamie Buckley and was able to secure the initial funding of £30,000 in the council budget for the work.

Immense thanks should also go to The Sid Vale Association's Keith Owen fund for putting the icing on the cake with their grant for the zip wire.

This shows how a resident can approach their ward councillor and get action. I hope the children really enjoy their new equipment.

Dan Turner, Furzehill resident said:

Thanks to all the children from Sidbury and at Sidbury Primary School for their wonderful ideas and suggestions that have brought the park back to life.

This project truly shows what a resident can do for a community, all stemming from my simple email to my local councillor offering my comments on a site that I felt had seen better days and could be afforded a new lease of life for generations of children in the future. 

I hope the children will continue to love and appreciate the new equipment, but most of all to bring them together, away from computers and into the fresh air.

This follows the newly-refurbished play area at St Marks Road, Honiton.

St Marks, together with the Glen Farm play area, were revamped as part of a works programme being carried out by the council across the district to replace and enhance five play area sites within this financial year.

Local children from Littletown Primary Academy in Honiton, Honiton Primary School, Little Ones Nursery, Honiton Youth Club and Honiton Baby and Toddler Group helped with the design of the site as part of a consultation exercise led by East Devon.

The design, manufacture and installation of the play park was completed by Kompan an established play equipment manufacturer, who were awarded the work at the two sites in Honiton after a competitive tendering process, where suppliers were asked to provide the best design and quality based on the children’s consultation responses.

East Devon has invested £130,000 of the council’s capital in the two sites in Honiton and have plans for a further investment of over £1million in replacing and enhancing play facilities across the district starting in the new financial year, with consultation starting with local children for those sites in March.

In addition to the play works recently completed at Sidbury, Sidmouth and Honiton, East Devon has allocated over £1million of capital funding during the next financial year to replace and enhance play facilities around the district, with consultation starting with local children for those sites in March.

Cllr Jenny Brown, ward member for Honiton St. Michaels said:

Following the consultation with local children, a lacklustre play area has been transformed into a modern and innovative play space for the children of Honiton to enjoy for many years to come. Well done East Devon.

Cllr Phil Twiss, ward member for Honiton St. Michaels, said:

I am sure that the bright, fun, modern, well equipped and safe to use play area will prove a real hit with parents, grandparents and children in Honiton who use it - if the use I have seen it getting before its formal opening is anything to go by and a valuable addition to this type of facility provided across the area by East Devon.