‘Charming’ new bridge for Barne Barton and St Budeaux

Kinterbury Creek is to get a charming new footbridge, thanks to an exciting project led by Barne Barton young people.

Local residents will be making wind charms to hang on the low-level bridge which will span the creek that provides the only access to the shoreline in this part of Plymouth.

A planning application has now been submitted to build the bridge which will have a grated surface to allow reeds to grow up through the structure. It will also have a viewing platform so that people can go pond dipping and crabbing.

The design was chosen by the Barne Barton Young Ambassadors group, set up and supported by Tamarview Community Centre’s #Dare2B, youth and community programme, who were tasked with assessing design briefs from artists as far away as New York.

Ahead of selecting Muf architecture/art, a London-based contemporary art and architecture, they visited a number of bridges in Devon and carried out research into contemporary bridge design.

Young Ambassador Kaytie Thomas one of the Community Ambassadors said: “It has been a great and enjoyable experience. I’ve had the chance to meet new people and gain more knowledge and skills. It’s brought the community closer by working together as a team.”

This bridge has now been commissioned by the Council and Take A Part CIC to replace a wooden one that was burnt down a few years ago. They sent out the bridge brief to arts development agencies and publications, inviting artists and architects to respond to the ideas of access, nature, engagement and wildlife.

The creek is a designated County Wildlife Site and is special for its marsh reed bed. It is also an ideal location to watch wading birds and other wildlife on the mud flats of the River Tamar.

Councillor Brian Vincent, Cabinet Member for Street Scene said: “This is one special bridge building project – not only are local people involved in the design, they will be helping to make some of the charms that will be on it.”

Pat Patel at Tamarview Community Centre said: “Lots of people who took part in our neighbourhood plan sessions wanted to make sure people around here can get to Kinterbury Creek foreshore – and this for local residents is an important part of delivering Barne Barton’s Neighbourhood Plan’s aspirations for more access to local green spaces and I am pleased to see this project move forward.”

The project costs £40,000 and is being funded through planning contributions including those from MVV to improve the environment around the waste plant.

If planning permission gets the go-ahead, the bridge will be built in September.

A series of activities will take place at the creek during the summer holidays every Thursday 11am to 3pm. The Marine Biological Association’s Beach Rangers will be on site running activities, plus construction events, crabbing, community water fights, barbecues, wild food walks and more aimed to getting local residents involved and enjoying the creek.

Take A Part is an innovative contemporary arts organisation devising public art programmes in Plymouth with communities. They work in Devonport, Barne Barton, North Prospect, Whitleigh, North Prospect and Efford, from where the project developed and grew from.

For more information visit www.effordtakeapart.org.uk and www.muf.co.uk