Major revamp at North Tawton's play park

By Sarah Pitt   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 9th May 2019 1:00 pm
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TOTS and teenagers are enjoying a major revamp of the play facilities at the North Tawton Memorial Park, which includes a state-of-the-art new skate and bike track.

The park, which will be officially opened in a ceremony at 4.30pm tomorrow afternoon (May 9), has been given an extensive overhaul costing well over £100,000 over the past six months.

For the teenagers there is a state-of-the-art skate and bike park, while new attractions for the younger ones include a trampoline and a ‘you & me’ swing where parent and child can swing together.

There is also a new multi use games area (MUGA) to provide an all-terrain surface for football, basketball, netball and tennis, protected by an anti-vandal fence.

The largest chunk of funding has come from the Section 106 money from developer Wainhomes which built the neighbouring Batheway Fields housing estate.

Further funding has come from the nearby Den Brook Wind Farm, the Durant Trust and North Tawton Town Council (NTTC).

In an effort to provide something for all children, the new play equipment includes a basket swing which can be accessed by disabled children.

The improvements have been undertaken by TK Play, a local family-run business who have worked closely with NTTC.

Most dramatic of all has been the creation of a skate and bicycle pump track offering an exciting range of challenges for skateboards, bikes and scooter users.

The innovative track has been designed and built by Forte Trailscapes, with groundworks and surfacing by TK Play, of Great Torrington, and funding from North Tawton Town Council and input from young people in the town.

Further Section 106 funding has paid for the sloping football pitch to be levelled as well as the much-needed replacement of the goalposts.

In total the project has cost more than £100,000.

NTTC vice-chair Jean Trewhitt said: ‘All in all this is a great makeover of the memorial park for the children and young people of North Tawton and the surrounding area. The park was in need of a revamp.

‘As a result of the new development at Batheway we had Section 106 money through West Devon [Borough Council] which has been the major contributor to the development of new equipment in the park and we have got a MUGA where people can play lots of different games without getting muddy.

‘We have also got some new equipment for younger children, a trampoline and basket swing which is a really good one for children of all abilities; a child with a disability would be able to sit in it and enjoy it.

‘We have also generally sorted out the surfacing; now it is soft surfacing instead of grass and mud.’

She said the skate and bicycle pump track project had involved the young people in the town.

‘They did have a half-pipe but the skaters wanted something a bit more adventurous than what they had before, so what we have done our best to provide.

‘We did try to consult as much as we could with some of the kids.

‘We did have a meeting before we finalised the design and about 12 kids and parents came along to that. TK Play, who are based in Torrington, were the successful bidders.

‘They worked very well with us, we have had lots of conversations with them about what would work.’

She said the verdict from the community, judging by the number of youngsters who had been using the equipment since it opened, was a decisive thumbs up.

‘Even the little ones with the balance bikes can go on the skate and bike track,’ she said. ‘A lot of the children have been trying it out since it reopened at Easter. It is a really exciting new thing for the town.’

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