EXMOUTH Town Council, East Devon District Council and the Police have worked together to get Exmouth the brand new multi use games area on The Crescent in Littleham that residents wanted.
The £40,000 games area is free to use and has markings and goals for sports such as five-a-side football, basketball and netball.
It will be opened by Mayor of Exmouth Councillor John Humphreys as part of the Littleham Community Festival on Saturday May 17.
The festival is also organised by EDDC and runs from 1pm to 4pm; the opening of the games area will be at 1.30pm.
As part of the opening festifities, basketball coaching will be available from a professional basketball player on the new games area.
The funding for this project (Section 106 money) is available as a result of a number of housing developments in the Exmouth Town Council area. 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.
Working together East Devon District Council (EDDC), a group of Exmouth Town Councillors (Pat Graham, Bill Nash, Sandy MacQueen and Alison Greenhalgh) and the Devon and Cornwall Police neighbourhood team for Littleham have been working together to provide Exmouth residents with the multi use games area in Littleham that they voted for.
The multi use games area in Littleham has been proposed and chosen by the local community.
In 2011, EDDC and Exmouth Town Council asked community groups, residents and other organisations to put forward their ideas as to how £150,000 of the sports funding accumulated from recent Exmouth housing developments (Section 106 money) should be spent. Devon and Cornwall Police covering the Littleham area proposed the idea of a multi use games area in Littleham.
These ideas were then taken out to residents and they got to vote on which ones they wanted to happen in Exmouth. Since then the Exmouth Town Council group and EDDC have been working together to deliver the games area. The following have already happened through this project and are already in place for residents to use:
• Outdoor gym equipment in Phear Park and on the seafront (£25,000)
• Multi-use games area and refurbished tennis courts in Phear Park (£75,000 towards the £200,000 project)
• Enlarging and re-designing Exmouth skate park with new ramps (£60,000)
Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC Cabinet Member for Environment said: “The young people of Littleham in particular have been really looking forward to this new facility, which means they have a safe area to play ball games in all weathers.
Promote sport “I’m really pleased that EDDC could promote sport by helping make this happen. We choose to involve the community in spending this money, which the vast majority of other local authorities don’t. It’s great that it is used to fund what the community really want.”
Councillor Sandy MacQueen, Exmouth Town Councillor and part of the group that made the project happen, said: "Some of Littleham’s town councillors visited the Chill Youth Club to talk about the multi use games area to explain where the money came from and the process involved in making it happen. Many of the youngsters had already used it and thought it was a great idea and looked forward to attending the opening ceremony".
Councillor Alison Greenhalgh, Exmouth Town Councillor and another member of the group that made the project happen, said: “The multi-use games area is already a great hit with the young people of Littleham, both boys and girls, who can be seen after school and at the weekends enjoying football, basketball and tag games. Their enthusiasm and energy is boundless and it’s great that we have been able to provide this facility”.