North Devon Council has secured \u00A3200,000 of lottery funding for local children and young people.The cash will provide much needed investment in leisure services and play provision, especially in rural areas.Funding will come from the Big Lottery Fund's Children's Play programme and will benefit at least 40,000 youngsters in North Devon through the following projects:* Empowering Young North Devon - a project offering free leisure opportunities for 11-17yr olds* CASP Mobile Play - free mobile play for 5-13yr olds, particularly in isolated rural areas* Curious 2 Play - play for families and children of all ages at North Devon's museums and theatres* Fremington Play Park - \u00A335,000 will go towards new play apparatus in FremingtonCouncillor David Butt, North Devon Council's portfolio holder for Youth and Diversity said: "We are delighted to be awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund. It will make a huge difference to the children and young people of North Devon, especially those in rurally isolated areas. We look forward to delivering a mixture of play facilities and activities to benefit youngsters of all ages and backgrounds."Rachael Allen, Community Development Co-ordinator and project lead, added: "I can't wait to get started on the projects, it's very exciting! Play is so important - not only is it good exercise it boosts self-esteem, and encourages social interaction. Young people from all backgrounds will benefit from this money - this is great news for the district."Big Lottery Fund Head of South West region, Mark Cotton, said: "Today's award is an excellent example of how the Children's Play programme is a fantastic investment for children, families and communities in North Devon. Play is a vital factor in a child's physical, emotional and social development, so with the right play provision, we hope that people will feel confident to allow their children to play beyond the home and enjoy the wealth of benefits that play brings."The lottery funding will support the projects in the play programme for a period of three years.