700 projects benefit from Exeter Airport sale, says Devon County Council
Hundreds of community projects have benefited from the sale of a Westcountry airport, according to Devon County Council.
The authority says more than 700 projects across Devon have been helped out since it sold Exeter Airport in 2007.
Funds of £48 million were initially made available for the council to invest in local and community projects, green initiatives, economic development, schools and major building.
The original investment was then doubled by funding from other sources to make some £96 million for targeted investment in Devon.
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Now the authority has announced full details of how it used the money banked from selling the airport to Balfour Beatty-owned Regional and City Airports.
Bigger projects included £5 million towards superfast broadband in rural communities, £5.9 million for a new Haven Banks outdoor education centre, £3.7 million towards the modernisation and refurbishment of Exeter Central Library, £2.5 million for a new sports hall at a Teignbridge school, and the £1.8 million Stop Line Way cycle path in East Devon.
Other projects included £1.5 million towards Dartmouth swimming pool, £600,000 towards the Lynmouth Pavilion, £240,000 visitors' centre for the Grand Western Canal in Tiverton, £600,000 towards the Lynmouth Pavilion and £55,000 for 115 new allotments in Ivybridge.
Devon County Council leader John Hart said: "We wanted as many people as possible to benefit and we wanted to make a real difference to our local communities."
"Every project, however big or small, has made a real difference to Devon and to local people. It's a fitting legacy that will continue to benefit the county for many years to come."
Councillor Brian Greenslade, leader of the Liberal Democrats group, said: "I'm really delighted by this report which shows how right we were to use the net airport sale receipt to help many projects across Devon to be delivered."
Coun Saxon Spence, leader of the Labour group, said: "It is good to see this welcome capital funding being used in such a variety of creative ways. It has given the opportunity for local members to work with their communities, and the big projects in Exeter, particularly the Central Library and outdoor and education centre at Haven Banks, will really benefit the city."
Although most of the funding has been allocated, some projects may find alternative funding, and some money has yet to be invested.