A collaborative improvement project kickstarts with new railings replaced at the riverside by the Ham 

Sidmouth Town Council, working with Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub who is heading the project, together with its partner, visual arts and culture charity Sidmouth School of Art, is pleased to announce that the railings at The Ham along the Riverside Walk will shortly be replaced. 

The new infrastructure is being funded by Sidmouth Town Council with additional support from the Arts Council England, the Keith Owen Fund (Sid Vale Association), the Arts Society Sidmouth and Devon County Council as part of the community participation project. The aim of the project is to revitalise the Riverside Walkway and is a community based scheme to improve the public walkway including the creation of outdoor galleries, a brass rubbing trail highlighting heritage and biodiversity, new seating, signage and planting. 

The project will deliver a coherent innovative scheme, regenerating the riverside walkway and providing an attractive outdoor space for residents and visitors to enjoy. The design will draw on the natural environment and heritage of the area through art, planting and information including an interactive brass rubbing trail. 

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New seating creating social spaces alongside new planters and artwork, combining visual and written information will provide an improved look and experience. The physical infrastructure will be improved by the installation of the new riverside railings and lighting and the old seating replaced. 

Bat and dark sky friendly lighting, in-keeping with the biodiversity of the area will be installed sympathetically balancing safety and increased use of the area with conservation. New way-finding signage will better connect the walkway to its surrounds. 

This collaborative project will be led by Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub working with the Town Council and community involving Sidmouth In Bloom, Sid Valley Biodiversity Group, Sidmouth Museum and a range of community groups and schools as active participants co-creating the artwork, key to generating ownership and responsible stewardship. A series of artist led workshops with Printmaker Emma Molony will enable young people and older people to get involved in shaping the artwork. 

The removal of the older railings which require replacement, is both the first phase of this new project and the next phase in the continuation of a long-term plan by the Council to improve The Ham recreation space and environment whilst working in partnership with community groups. 

Works commence on Tuesday 2 May for approximately two weeks and involve the removal of the old railings and installation of a new brushed chrome replacement. During this time, the Riverside Walk pathway will be temporarily closed for safety reasons whilst contractors work on the scheme. 

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