£100k set aside for Brixington Park improvements could be reallocated to Axminster skatepark scheme

A play park in Brixnigton, Exmouth

A play park in Brixnigton, Exmouth - Credit: Archant

Money initially ring fenced for improvements to an Exmouth play park could be used for a new skate park in Axminster. 

East Devon District Council’s cabinet are set to discuss the proposal to re-direct £100,000 in capital funding assigned to the Brixington Park improvement scheme to pay for the second phase of Axminster skatepark. 

The officers’ report to cabinet says the Brixington scheme will not miss out, as it ‘double funded’ having been voted by residents of Exmouth to receive funding from Section 106 receipts collected from developers. 

Members of the cabinet meet virtually on Wednesday, June 8, and councillors are recommended to suggest that full council allocates the £100,000 to the Axminster project.  

Officers are also recommending that a ‘play strategy’, which is yet to be finalised, should include a section on ‘fairer play provision’ proposing town and parish councils can bid into the council’s capital budget for up to 25 per cent of the project’s total cost. 

The officers report said: “We want East Devon’s outstanding environment to work for everyone. A big part of this is ensuring we provide outstanding play facilities, that offer our children and young people life enhancing daily experiences that positively impact their health and wellbeing across land. 

“We have responsibility for setting standards that other landowners, such as Town and Parish Councils and community groups, can use as guidance, but also helping such group get a project across the line which otherwise could not progress, to ensure all our communities have fair and good access to important play provision.” 

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The original Axminster Skatepark, in Cloakham Drive, was made from wood and metal and the officers report said it ‘was probably not adequate in the first place’. The report added that the skatepark was initially well used but later became a target for antisocial behaviour. 

The skatepark project was initially given Section 106 funding of £150,000 but was left with a shortfall of £66,000 to complete the project. However, there is a deadline to use the Section 106 funds by of September this year. 

Officers said it was agreed that the skatepark project could be split into two phases, to ensure the Section 106 funding is used in time, but that leaves the project needing to find £182,000 for phase two. 

Axminster Town Council has agreed to put up £82,000 and the money reallocated from Brixington would meet the shortfall.