Families in Seaton will soon be able to enjoy football, volleyball, basketball and tennis in a new £56,000 multi use games area (MUGA).
Located near the children’s play area and the entrance to Seaton Valley Countryside Park, the new MUGA will provide a safe fenced area for people of all ages to play ball games.
Deviock Innovation Group has been the driving force behind the new facilities, working closely with their local Cornwall councillor, parish council, the community and the local primary school. The enthusiastic community group was started in 2009 by three friends who wanted to improve facilities in Seaton, Downderry and the rest of Deviock Parish.
Caroline Whitley, one of the founding members of Deviock Innovation Group, said: “We’re all parents of young children and we were concerned that the existing area for ball games wasn’t very safe and was quite often full of cars as it was also used as an overflow car park. We thought that if we got together and started the group we would be able to make the area safer and a much nicer area for children to play.”
The group started by meeting with Jim Candy, their local Cornwall Councillor, and the Deviock Parish Council to establish who owned the land and how to turn their ideas into reality. Then they consulted the local community and primary school to find out what sort of facilities they wanted to see in the MUGA. Next the group met with several different park companies, before settling on Kompan to design and create the community’s dream MUGA.
Funding for the scheme came from a £50,000 grant from the Viridor Credits scheme, which supports community, heritage and biodiversity projects. Bond Hire agreed to donate some of the equipment needed to make the site safe while the work to transform it takes place. The local community also rallied round to generously donate money towards the project and support funding raising activities such as a masked ball and a quiz night.
Rhona Doyle, another member of Deviock Innovation group, said: “When we started looking into what we needed to do, it soon became clear that our project was bigger than we’d first thought. But if you can get the community behind you and get some like-minded people with some time to help out, it’s amazing what you can accomplish. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our local community, parish council, Jim Candy, Viridor, Bond Timber, Inn on the Shore and Cornwall Council for their ongoing support. Without you none of this would have been possible.”
Marielle Newton, who is also part of the Deviock Innovation Group, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has helped with this project. We’re thrilled that the MUGA will be opening soon, but this is just the beginning for us. We also hope to improve the children’s play area with some exciting new equipment in the future.”
Jim Candy, Cornwall Councillor for Trelawny, said: “For some years I have been trying to sort out the silly situation where the existing basketball court is also used as an overflow car park. I can remember a time when my son and his friends were prevented from playing basketball because there were cars parked in the middle of the court.
“It’s fantastic that the community has come together to make the MUGA happen, and I am glad that I was able to help by bringing together all the interested parties from the group and from the Council. The MUGA will have significant benefits for the village, providing a safe area where people of all ages can play together and enjoy the benefits of exercise in the fresh air.
“A committed and enthusiastic community group can make a huge difference to their area, and I’m looking forward to working with Deviock Innovation Group on their future plans.
“I would also like to thank WH Bond and Roy Davey Contractors who have generously stepped in to cover extra costs that arose when work started on site and we discovered the tarmac we needed to remove was much deeper than originally anticipated.”
Story posted on 21 February 2017