Giant surfboard plan for A39 Heywood Roundabout survives funding blow
A businessman is determined to continue his idea of erecting a giant surfboard on one of the region's busiest roundabouts – despite two town councils dropping out of the project.
Rob Braddick first came up with the idea of placing an eye-catching object on Heywood roundabout on the A39 in North Devon last year.
Initially he wanted a giant deckchair, but after a backlash of opinion he suggested a 42ft surfboard instead.
At the time Mr Braddick, managing director of Braddicks Leisure from Westward Ho!, hoped the project, which he would fund, would be a means of attracting more tourists into the town from the main road.
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In October he said: "The idea is to make people aware of Westward Ho! and put it on the map.
"The roundabout gets a lot of traffic and people just drive straight across it to Bude and on to Cornwall. It would be great to make people realise there's a three-mile beach just down the road.
"The whole of Westward Ho! would benefit from it."
Councillors on Northam and Bideford town councils thought it could be such a beneficial project they wanted to fund it through Devon County Council's recently established joint Town and Parishes Fund, which the town councils have to spend together.
But when proposals were discussed by Bideford council in December the roundabout project was rejected.
That led to disappointment among nearby Northam town councillors.
With time running out before the councils have to decide what the money is to be used for, Northam town councillors decided to agree with Bideford's proposals to ensure the money is not lost.
Undeterred, Mr Braddick said he was still willing to fund the project, which is estimated to cost between £20,000 and £25,000.