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£280K rebuild of Bideford's Victoria Park Play Area is one step closer!

visualisation of new victoria park play area with slides and swings and other play equipment

visualisation of new victoria park play area with slides and swings and other play equipment

On Monday, Torridge District Council's Community and Resources Committee approved that Council Officers should apply for planning permission for a major upgrade of the District's busiest park.

A new £280,000 play area has been designed, tendered and will be delivered in the winter if planning permission is granted.  Funding for this exciting project has been accumulated from various sources with £150k provided by from the Government's Rural Prosperity Fund alongside generous contributions of £119k from the Bideford Bridge Trust and £10k from Bideford Town Council. The District Council has also been working closely with the Victoria Park Community Group in other fundraising initiatives and to help develop ideas and plans for the park's other play areas.

The impetus for the new play area stems from the Councils 2021 Play Area Strategy, which committed the council to upgrading play areas throughout the district. The strategy outlined a plan to upgrade, replace or in some cases transfer responsibility for playgrounds to ensure that children in all parts of the district would have access to safe and well managed play areas. Several parks in Bideford, including Short Close, Chestnut Drive and Ayres Close, have already undergone upgrades including safety resurfacing improvements as part of the strategy. These upgrades have been implemented over the past few years in a rolling programme that it is hoped will now see the transformation of one of the areas most loved parks, Victoria Park.

Delivery of the project is fully prepared in anticipation of a positive planning decision which is expected in November. The winning design for the new play area was submitted by playground equipment supplier Kompan. The design has a distinctive seaside pirate theme and will include 85 play features for a target age group up to 14 years of age and capacity to safely accommodate 95 users at any one time. Toddlers aged 1-4 years will have their own designated area as well as a zoned area for juniors 5-12 years. The park will also include some exciting new features such a 30m zip wire, twisty slides, fenced of sand play area and an accessible wheelchair friendly roundabout.

Councillor Lyndon Piper, Lead member for Leisure, said:

"Bideford's Victoria Park has been a well-used and invaluable asset over the years but many of the facilities are now nearing their end of life and are in need of an upgrade and makeover. We're grateful for the generosity of the Bideford Bridge Trust and the town council for the extra funding to allow this fantastic new facility to be built and to a scale that will be a flagship destination for the area. The help and enthusiasm from the town's community group has also been crucial in raising additional funds. Play areas are really important for children's well-being and development and an important gathering point for families and groups of friends to meet and socialise contributing to a real sense of community. We look forward to the project starting soon!"

Sept 23

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