A FUNDING boost of £50,000 has been awarded to enhance a popular play area in West Bay.

The West Bay Play Area Steering Group have been recently handed the funds, which will go towards extending the area to include facilities for children, young people and adults with disabilities.

The money was available from government funding held by Dorset County Council, which can be used to improve opportunities for children and young people who are disabled.

Town surveyor Daryl Chambers has now produced plans that double the size of the existing area and include ‘just about everything’ on a very long wish list.

The plans follow months of consultation with various groups, including Mountjoy School in Beaminster, The Sir John Colfox Academy in Bridport and the Fishermans Arms and Flood Lane Day Centres.

Arthur Woodgate, chair of the Bridport Young Persons Action Trust (BYPAT) charity, said: “We intend that the new equipment will be multi use and be able to be used side by side by those with disabilities and those who are able bodied.

“We’re not forgetting the wishes of the young people who helped create the existing area; this play park enhancement is for everyone whatever their age.”

The play park enhancement initiative, which is a partnership between BYPAT and Bridport Town Council, has already attracted the support of Bridport charities the Lions Club and the Round Table.

Thanks to the £50,000 boost, half of the necessary funding has now been achieved and an appeal will be made for help to raise the rest of the funds.

West Dorset resident Debbie Bird, who has remained involved in the play park project since she was at school more than seven years ago, said: “It’s fantastic that the play area we raised funds for and designed to be for everyone really will now be for everyone, young, old, disabled and able-bodied.”

Cllr Ros Kayes, Dorset County Council member for Bridport, said she was delighted to be supporting the community project.

She added: I know how hard all those involved, especially the young people, have worked in the design process.

“This project will provide a wonderful, free, accessible play area for children in the local community - particularly for disadvantaged people of all ages.

“In addition, this will be a valued facility for local short break providers, children’s centres, disability support groups and our special schools in west and north Dorset.”

For more information on the play park project email d.chambers@bridport-tc.gov.uk or a.c.woodgate@btinternet.com.


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