PROJECTS in North Devon and Torridge are set to benefit from Devon County Council s sale of Exeter International Airport last year, as millions of pounds are invested across Devon, it emerged yesterday (Tuesday). The council sold the airport for £60 milli
PROJECTS in North Devon and Torridge are set to benefit from Devon County Council's sale of Exeter International Airport last year, as millions of pounds are invested across Devon, it emerged yesterday (Tuesday).The council sold the airport for £60 million in January 2007 and, after first paying £12 million to cover existing borrowings against their previous investment in the airport, has made £48 million available for local projects.In a first round of allocations, North Devon and Torridge are to get a total of £1.359 million. In Torrington, The Plough Arts Centre will receive a £44,000 boost, while £18,000 has been set aside for the upgrade of the football changing facilities at Donnacroft. The town will also receive £300,000 to develop a "shop front" style youth cafe, with back office support to be used also by the council's youth offending service and Connexions.In Chulmleigh, £450,000 has been set aside for a similar service on an as yet undisclosed site in the village, while £200,000 will be committed towards a brand new purpose built youth centre on the site of the tennis courts in South Molton.Barnstaple's Queen's Theatre will receive £60,000 to replace dilapidated boilers with three new energy efficient condensing units. Only one of the existing five boilers - estimated to be 25 years old - still works fully and theatre management reckon without heating, the theatre would have to close.Also in Barnstaple, £49,000 has been allocated towards refurbishment of Pilton Community College's reception lounge which is currently used for teaching, adult and community learning, as well as a dining hall.At Lampard Community School, £10,000 will pay for the relocation and refurbishment of the school's multi-sensory room for children with disabilities, while £5,000 will pay for a canopy over a walkway between two buildings at Sticklepath Community School.Meanwhile in Barnstaple, residents at Goodleigh Rise, will welcome a £20,000 investment of traffic calming measures in their neighbourhood.In Bideford, £140,000 has been set aside for refurbishment of the Pill Youth Centre, a building used by Devon County Council's Youth Service, Social Care, and young carers. The money will help create a modern, purpose-built facility for delivering services for children and young people. It will also provide a base for activities that will promote young people's personal and social development.Local DCC member Hugo Barton said the investment would provide a great opportunity to make vital improvements for all that use and work in the centre. "Hopefully, this will be but the beginning of a major revamp in this part of Bideford," he said.Councillor John Smith, Deputy Leader of Devon County Council and Executive Member for Children and Young People's Services said: "I am very pleased that some of the money raised through the sale of the airport can be used for children and young people's issues. The money will be spread over a range of programmes across Devon."The support we are giving to youth provision in North Devon and Torridge will make a significant contribution to reducing perceived and actual anti-social behaviour."And in Ilfracombe, £63,000 of matched-funding has been allocated towards improvements of the harbour. It will help pay for a harbour feasibility study that follows work by consultants Terrence O'Rourke and Roger Tymms and Partners in 2006."The study will help the potential development of the next phase for the harbour," said local county councillor Geoff Fowler.Brian Greenslade, Leader of Devon County Council, chaired the Exeter Airport Sale working party. He said: "We effectively doubled the sale price of the airport in 12 months and achieved a net capital receipt of £48 million. "This is now being invested in projects all over Devon. We are particularly keen to invest where there is a clear environmental gain or reduction in the carbon footprint, where it reduces costs, and where a project can attract matched funding."A further £250,000 has been allocated to replace toilet facilities at schools across the county including Pynes Infants in Bideford.In addition, the council has set aside further funding for playgrounds and multi use games area improvements, and to improve energy efficiency within schools across the county.