Lottery funding boost for Sidley Rec project

Members of the Bexhill Skatepark Action Group
Members of the Bexhill Skatepark Action Group

A campaign to provide Bexhill with a new skatepark, BMX track and games area is gathering speed.

The Heart of Sidley Big Local partnership has agreed for £76,000 of Big Lottery Fund money to be used for the Sidley Recreation Ground project. The news comes just weeks after Hastings Round Table also gave £5,000 to 
help turn the ambitious plan into reality.

Cllr Jim Carroll, Rother District Council’s cabinet member for young people, sport and recreation, said: “Efforts to get this project off the ground are really gathering pace, with many local groups and organisations backing our vision for the site. We are extremely grateful for the support offered by the Heart of Sidley Big Local partnership, which takes 
us a step closer to our fundraising target.”

In December last year the district council agreed the project for Sidley Recreation Ground, which will see a new and improved concrete BMX track to meet regional standards and an all-weather multi-use games area for basketball and football – all of which will be free to use.

The authority, taking advantage of developer contributions as well as its own funding, committed up to £300,000 towards the total cost of the project which, with floodlighting, toilet provision and improved access, is estimated to be around £513,000.

Working with its partners, the council is exploring all fundraising opportunities that will ensure the Sidley Recreation Ground project can go ahead and become a thriving active hub for the community. An application for funding from Sport England’s Community Asset Fund is due to be considered in the next few weeks.

The project also has the support of BMXers from JumpClub, led by local rider Keith Duly. The club recently teamed up with The Source in Hastings to hold an event to raise funds for a new start gate.

Club members are hoping to raise additional funds through crowdfunding and the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ grant scheme, and the Bexhill Skatepark Action Group are considering how they too can help raise funds.

Cllr Carroll added: “We have received amazing support from the local community who recognise that project will benefit the town as a whole. As well as encouraging families, young people and young adults to be more active, it will bring visitors to the area and boost the local economy.”