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Quantock villages to benefit from new £161k games area
QUANTOCK villages can benefit from a new £161,000 games area at Nether Stowey.
The double-court Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) forms part of a huge project to regenerate the playing fields, which also includes plans to refurbish the worn children’s play area, provide a new pavilion and create an ‘adventure area’ for older children.
The playing field is run by a charitable Trust, ‘Nether Stowey Recreation Ground’, on behalf of the community and the Playing Fields Regeneration Project is estimated to cost around £800,000.
David Davison, Playing Field Committee member, said: “The current play equipment and changing room facilities have become outdated.
“The MUGA is the first major element of the project and includes a state-of-the-art five-a-side football pitch and a tennis/netball/basketball court. Both courts are floodlit and we’re hoping to attract clubs from across Sedgemoor.”
Sedgemoor District Council provided £42k funding for the MUGA to help fill a lack of large sporting pitches in the Quantock Cluster. The facility will benefit all the villages in that area, such as Stogursey, Combwich, Spaxton and Cannington.
The MUGA has also been funded by Viridor Credits, Sport England and a village lottery project. The parish council gives the Playing Field Committee some financial support towards running costs, but significant fundraising is required each year to cover maintenance costs.
Mr Davison added: “It’s a challenge for rural communities to get grant funding. Most of it goes to urban areas, but rural children can be deprived as well.
“A play park is something some people take for granted. They think a park will be permanent and looked after, but there’s a lot of work that goes into a project like this.
“Historically people would just build a play area, but now times have changed and expectations have changed. Kids expect more now and we need to ensure we provide something that will appeal to all ages and last.”
The next step in the overall project is to gather further grant funding to upgrade the children’s play area.
A Grand Opening of the MUGA will be held on September 8 from 10am to 4pm. It will feature taster sessions in tennis, mini-tennis, netball and basketball. There will also be several five-a-side tournaments, family games and a dog show.
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