Canal’s new children’s play area to receive a funding boost

Artist impression of the proposed play area

Posted on: 5 January 2017

Plans for an exciting new children’s play area at the Grand Western Canal’s basin in Tiverton have taken a step further towards final agreement.

The scheme, which so far has funding from Devon County Council and Tiverton Town Council, has now also received support from Tesco.

Throughout January, visitors to Tesco stores across Devon, Somerset and West Dorset are being invited to vote for their favourite project, which include the proposed children’s play area at the canal basin.

The play area proposal follows consultation by Devon County Council, which manages the canal, with local schools and at the Mid Devon Show, and the park’s design is taken from what young people said they’d like to see.

The design also takes its inspiration from the canal setting, reflecting aspects of the canal’s heritage and natural environment.

The play area is targeted towards families with children aged 3 to 9 years old. There will be a range of themed play equipment, including slides, swings and roundabout, but one of its main features will be a boat for children to climb and explore.

Another feature, requested a lot in the consultation and which Devon County Council hopes that Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme will fund, is a basket swing that can also be enjoyed by children with disabilities.

The play area will be within a short walk from facilities at the canal basin including the Canal Visitor Centre, Tiverton Canal Co’s floating café-bar (The Duck’s Ditty), gift shop and nearby Canal Tea Rooms and Garden.

Proludic, one of the largest manufacturers, designers and installers of outdoor playground equipment, has won the County Council’s tender to supply and install the equipment.

cllr-roger-croadCouncillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Grand Western Canal said:

“We see a lot of families with young children coming to the canal basin and to the Visitor’s Centre, and we and the Canal’s Joint Advisory Committee decided that a play area would be a really good addition. The consultation with schools and at the Mid Devon Show has helped us identify what the play area could include, which is in keeping with its surroundings.”

Cllr Des HannonLocal Member for Tiverton East, Cllr Des Hannon, has allocated County Council funding to the project.  He said:

“A new play area is just what we need at the Canal basin. It’ll be great for young families all over town and even better to keep tourists with little ones in Tiverton for the day. A treat for them and a bonus for local businesses, from eateries to shops. Please vote for us when you do your shopping. Every little helps.”

Devon County Councillor for Willand and Uffculme and Mid Devon District Councillor for Halberton, Cllr Ray Radford, also welcomes the plans.  He said:

“All being well, we’d hope to start the work and have the play area completed by this summer. In the meantime, the extra funding from Tesco would really help. If visiting their stores, please vote for the Children`s Play Area, which has strong competition from other worthy projects. The Canal is well used by all local people as well as a tourist attraction bringing revenue to the local community. We will work hard to get the Children`s Playing Area up and running as soon as possible. With your help, and Tesco`s, it can happen.”

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