North Devon and Torridge are set to get £2.7million from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

There will be £1.5m for North Devon Council (NDC) towards the new swimming pool as part of the new North Devon leisure centre proposed for Seven Brethren in Barnstaple.

Plus Torridge District Council will receive £1.2m towards a £2.17m Burrows Centre project to create a new all year round interpretation centre and activity hub for nature-based tourism at Northam Burrows, to increase visitor numbers and job opportunities.

It will also provide business support for exiting and start-up tourism related businesses.

The money for the leisure centre scheme in Barnstaple has been awarded to NDC for the deep water pool at the new £14m leisure centre, which will have adjustable depth options to allow for competitions plus new all-weather facilities to be used for lifeguard and RNLI training.

READ MORE: Council proposing to take out loan to build new North Devon leisure centre .

NDC contracts manager Mark Kentell said they were ‘genuinely overjoyed’ to get the money, which was a ‘significant step’ for the project.

He said: “It’s within touching distance now and I am reasonably confident we will be starting work later on this year.

“If we weren’t building a new one there would be a real possibility we would not have a leisure centre in the next few years, so this is great news.”

The council plans to demolish the existing leisure centre, which it says is at the end of its life, and provide the land for the development of up to 245 new homes.

READ MORE: Seven Brethren plans could be held up if there is nowhere to put travellers .