St. Bees Parish Council – St. Bees Pay Area

St Bees has a large sandy beach which has previously been awarded Quality Coast Awards. It is very popular with families from across West Cumbria and beyond who come to enjoy the beach and the walks on St Bees Head.
The existing play area at the beach had very limited play facilities as some items of equipment had been dismantled, leaving only an old timbered ‘fort’ which was reaching the end of its life and some swings and equipment designed for pre-school children. There was no equipment to challenge older children and poor drainage was also an issue.

Doug Sim, St. Bees Parish Council Chairman and Project Lead said “This is one of the most heavily used beaches in Cumbria, and it was just crying out for a decent play area. CCF has enabled the Parish Council to address this situation for the benefit of the public.”

The project aimed to transform this area into an attractive, modern play facility catering for children up to the age of 14 with a wide range of new play equipment. There would be a separate play area for the youngest children which would be fenced.

Doug added ‘There has been a noticeable increase in families visiting the beach. Everyone I speak to, from children to grandparents accompanying them, is excited about this facility, which is a very attractive one for children.”

The project was also funded by WREN, Copeland Borough Council, St. Bees Parish Council and Cumbria County Council.


  • 0.5 hectare of improved open space
  • 2,800 visitors attracted to Copeland
  • 15 local people assisted in their skills development
  • £25,000 economic impact from major events and tourism marketing


  • A year round serviceable play area near St Bees beach providing equipment for ages 0-14
  • Access for disabled parents, carers to watch children play and more opportunities for children with disabilities to use the equipment
  • Increased numbers of children using the play facilities enjoying active outdoor exercise
  • Visitors feeling more satisfied with the ‘visitor experience’ and therefore more likely to return/ stay longer/recommend to others, bringing economic benefits to local businesses