Community cash boost for Grand Western Canal’s play area project

Grand Western CanalGrand Western Canal

Posted on: 22 March 2017

Work on a new children’s play area at the Grand Western Canal’s basin in Tiverton will start later this year after the project bagged the support of supermarket shoppers.

The scheme, which already has funding from Devon County Council and Tiverton Town Council, has now also received support from Tesco’s eco-friendly community awards scheme ‘Bags of Help.’

The funding initiative awards grants to thousands of local community projects every year, and is funded by the 5p single-use carrier-bag charge.

Visitors to stores across Devon, Somerset and West Dorset voted  for their favourite scheme during January. The play area, which is intended for children aged from three to nine, was the most popular and has been awarded the maximum £5,000.

It follows Devon County Council, which manages the canal, consulting local children over the design of the new play area at the Mid Devon Show and through local schools.

The final design is a combination of the children’s views and a  theme inspired by the canal’s setting and natural environment. The themed play equipment includes slides, swings and a roundabout.

One of its main features will be a boat for children to climb and explore. The Bags of Help award will pay for a basket swing that can also be enjoyed by children with disabilities,  as well as a roundabout.

Once completed the play area will be just 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 the nearby Canal Tea Rooms and Garden.

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

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services said:

“Thank you to everyone who voted for this great project. It’s appropriate that this play area,  set in one of the most beautiful parts of Devon,  will be in part funded through the plastic carrier bag levy, which has resulted in fewer single-use bags being thrown away, helping to protect the environment and reducing the need for landfill.”

Councillor Des Hannon, Devon County Council’s local division member for Tiverton East, said:

Councillor Des Hannon

“This has been an idea years in the planning. We want youngsters to love our canal and treasure it for generations to come. We picked this spot out as the best place to have a lot of fun. I’ve seen the new play equipment and it’ll be a treat for kids. It just shows what we can achieve working with partners from Tesco to the Town Council.”
Councillor Ray Radford, Devon County Council’s local division member for

Cllr Ray Radford

Willand and Uffculme, and Mid Devon District Councillor for Halberton, and the chairman of the canal’s Joint Advisory Committee, said:

“Thanks to Tesco’s grant the play area could be completed as soon as this summer. The extra funding from Tesco will make this facility even better and I’m sure it will be well used by all local people and become a tourist attraction bringing revenue to the local community.”

Lindsey Crompton, Tesco’s Head of Community, said:

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers. The great thing about Bags of Help is that local people are invited to decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Posted in: Community | Environment