Cash boost for West Devon community groups to support local wellbeing
Sports clubs and local community groups in Okehampton and Tavistock will receive over £38,000 thanks to West Devon Borough Council Section 106 funding.
The money was secured as part of housing development projects being delivered in the towns.
The local projects that have received funding will all make it easier for people to get outside and active. Ranging from a scheme to enhance the outside space at the Ockment Centre to the Town Council's plans for a new zip wire in Simmons Park, each project will make a difference to community wellbeing every day.
A Section 106 agreement (s106) is an agreement between a developer and the local planning authority. It secures measures that the developer must take to reduce their impact on the community. In this case, it applies to financial contributions to provide infrastructure for the community.
The projects benefiting from the latest round of s106 funding are:
- Ockment Centre - £4,150 for their project to provide replacement and additional outside furniture (to include wheelchair access recycled picnic benches) in the garden of the Centre.
- Okehampton Community Garden - £570 for their project to purchase storage shelves and lockers for equipment for well-being and outdoor activities and for people to keep personal belongings.
- Okehampton Town Council - £5,000 towards the £16,000 project to replace the zip wire in Simmons Park.
- Okehampton Community and Recreation Association (OCRA) - £8,000 towards their £16,000 project to rejuvenate the all-weather pitch at Okehampton College.
In Tavistock, there's money to support the following projects that will help local people to stay active:
- Rugby Club - £14,000 to refurbish the clubhouse, including an additional changing room.
- Tavistock Community Football Club - £4,600 for pitch maintenance and goal netting.
- Tavistock College - £2,280 towards replacement netting above the fencing on the all-weather pitch.
West Devon Borough Council Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Tony Leech, said: "It's great to see these projects helping more local people of all ages to get active and outside. With this money, these groups will be able to deliver the facilities that local people need and make a positive difference to wellbeing across the community."
West Devon Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Caroline Mott added: "We want to make West Devon a place to inspire and a place to succeed. By securing s106 funding when larger developments get the go ahead, we can make sure that our communities get the investment in the high-quality facilities they need to thrive. We can give people the opportunity to try new things or continue to enjoy favourite activities regardless of changes to mobility."
Okehampton Community and Recreation Association (OCRA) are one of the groups receiving funding. The money will be used to rejuvenate the all-weather pitch at Okehampton College. The pitch is a hub for community sport in the town and is used by sports clubs aimed at all ages and abilities, including walking football and hockey.
Ian Blythe, OCRA General Manager added: "The funding received from West Devon Borough ensures that opportunities for local clubs should now not be impacted by the weather. It truly is now an all-weather surface.
"The rejuvenation provides a wonderful surface for the local hockey and football clubs to utilise whilst giving OCRA the scope to broaden our programme for the local community which now includes social football and an after school opportunity each Friday.
"The pandemic has caused interruptions in bookings for the all-weather pitch as clubs and groups battled with lockdowns and restrictions around their activities meaning our finances took a hit but the local authority support and funding has enabled us to complete the work on the all-weather pitch meaning OCRA can bounce back quicker and stronger to do what we do best, getting the community active."
Local sport facility needs change, for example when new developments in our towns and villages increase the number of residents in the area. The council has a playing pitch strategy in place to make sure there is a good supply of high-quality playing pitches to meet current and predicted future needs. Identifying local need and securing s106 funding and other grants for local sports clubs is a core part of this strategy. Residents' views are currently being sought for a new plan for the next 13 years (to 2034). You can read the draft strategy and have your say at www.engagement.westdevon.gov.uk/pitch-perfect-for-west-devon
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