£1.5million project set to turn north Essex towns into giant gaming areas

Clacton and Jaywick will be turned into giant playgrounds as part of the Beat the Street game

Clacton and Jaywick will be turned into giant playgrounds as part of the Beat the Street game, as part of a £1.5million project. - Credit: Tendring District Council

More than £1.5million will be spent on helping people in the poorest parts of Essex get healthier – including an innovative game transforming whole towns into giant gaming areas.

Beat the Street will engage over 10,000 players in Clacton and Jaywick in a six-week physical activity game targeted at families and older people will be part of a wider plan for people in Tendring.

For the last three years, Essex has been one of 12 areas in a national scheme, funded by Sport England, to support greater physical activity in parts of the county. In Essex’s case, the focus is on Colchester, Tendring and Basildon – all of which contain areas with low levels of physical activity and corresponding deprivation.

With money provided by Sport England, local NHS partners and Essex County Council’s own Levelling-Up reserve series of schemes in Tendring and Basildon are being developed to enable more people to become active.

Proposals for Colchester are currently being drawn up and will form a separate decision.

The seven new physical activity projects – four in Tendring and three in Basildon – will cost a total of £1.5m for 2022/23 and 2023/24.

In Tendring four new healthy and active lifestyle initiatives will see a new Beat the Street game in Clacton and Jaywick planned to engage more than 10,000 players in a six-week physical activity game targeted at families and older people.

Most Read

The game devised by Reading GP Dr William Bird MBE in 2010 to get communities active asks players to walk, cycle, run, wheel or scoot between special sensors called “Beat Boxes” attached on lampposts around the game area as fast as possible.

The further players travel, the more points they score for their community or school team. Each week is themed with different activities to help participants get the most out of their Beat the Street experience.

Tendring will also see an expansion of Essex Pedal Power – a community-based bike project which will allow residents in Jaywick Sands and Clacton to loan a new bike free of charge.

Money for Tendring will also fund a new disability cycling project for more than 7,500 people with disabilities and long-term health condition and four new Park Play schemes providing free play activities for children and families every Saturday morning in a local park benefitting 100 families.