15 January 2021

A cherry tree blossoming by the estuary at Stoke Gabriel

Several of Stoke Gabriel's key community groups are receiving a crucial boost as they receive thousands of pounds of funding from South Hams District Council.

Stoke Gabriel's football club, cricket club, boating association and scout group have all received thousands of pounds to help with a wide range of projects to benefit the community.

Stoke Gabriel Cricket Club is to receive more than £23,000; the money will be put towards a new roof for the community pavilion, a new office and ladies' changing facilities, plus improvements to the entrance road.

Neil Robertson, financial director for Stoke Gabriel Cricket Club, said: "The extension will help in three ways. The major benefit will be to provide additional changing facilities for ladies. This will provide facilities for ladies playing in mixed teams and in due course, for ladies teams to be able to change in. One of our aims is to promote and encourage the ladies' game, and the upgraded facilities we offer will help up in this regard. This was a major project which improves facilities for the future and we hope will generate more interest within the local community."

Stoke Gabriel Football Club is to receive more than  £28,000 to help create a disabled access ramp, purchase ground maintenance equipment and improve access to the club's driveways and car parks.

Stoke Gabriel Boating Association is set to receive the substantial sum of £30,500 - the money will go towards the improvement of access between the Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority pontoon and foreshore pontoon at Mill Point, once the project goes through full planning.

The money funding these projects has come from Section 106 agreements made with Cavanna Homes, the firm behind the King's Orchard 53-home development in Stoke Gabriel. A further £6,000 will be donated to Stoke Gabriel Scout Group to go towards the replacement of the toilets in their headquarters, following a development at Waddeton Barton Farm.

Philip Bolt, chair of Stoke Gabriel Scout Group, said: "The HQ is well used and cared for by the Group and various village organisations; Kiddies Karate, Mother and Toddler, Zumba, Yoga etc. However, the HQ was built in 1976 and is now showing its age, so the Group is undertaking a programme of significant maintenance and upgrade work. One of the projects is a total refurbishment of the toilets. The Section 106 funding from SHDC will go a long way to funding this essential part of the refurbishment programme."

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, Executive Lead for Leisure and Health and Wellbeing, said: "I'm very pleased that South Hams District Council are able to release these funds. They will enable a number of local community groups achieve their aspirations. This will be really exciting for them and for Stoke Gabriel in general."

Cllr Rosemary Rowe, ward member for Dartmouth and East Dart, said: "These are all very worthy causes and this money will help them to progress with the various projects they have in hand. The money will be most welcome, particularly in what has been a very difficult period for everyone, including community groups. Due to Covid, fundraising has had to stop, but premises still have to be kept up and running, while other costs will also remain. This money will give these groups a vital boost during what has been a tough year."