Consultation under way over Swaffham skatepark

Swaffham skate park which is constantly being vandalised Picture by: Matthew Usher. Swaffham skate park which is constantly being vandalised Picture by: Matthew Usher.

Friday, July 18, 2014
12:42 PM

Skateboarders and councillors came together to look into what could be done with a popular skatepark.

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The park, in Swaffham’s recreation ground, has been well used since it was built over 10 years ago.

Now the equipment has become worn and some has sections have had to be removed.

Swaffham Town Council held a We Need a New Skatepark event to launch the Swaffham Sk8park Fund ahead of a possible £80,000 scheme.

With a barbecue and refreshments provided, as well as manufacturers showing possible additions to the site, the event aimed to give the town’s youngsters a say in the site’s future.

Sheila Lister, chairman of the recreation ground committee, said: “We have had our skatepark for 12 or 13 years and it was second hand when we bought it. It has had it.

“The kids absolutely love it, it is the main thing they want.

“They really care about it, they are always clearing up and picking up litter there.

“One of the things they have asked for is to have concrete bins.

“We are looking at the possibility of a multipurpose area but the main thing we need is a new skatepark.”

Any scheme is likely to require the council to provide some match funding as well as applying for a grant.

A multipurpose sports area could also be built as part of the scheme which could include a basketball court and football pitch in a contained area.

Town clerk Richard Bishop said: “We are getting people to tell us what they want then we will go away and see what we can afford. Then we will get a grant application together.”

Jack Hansen, 17, and his friends have written a list of suggestions for the park.

He said: “I think it is really cool giving people the opportunity to suggest what they think.

“It should mean that they get something that works best for them.

“I’m looking at it as a skateboarder, so that’s what matters to me, but other people will have different ideas too.”

When the idea of the park was originally suggested there were concerns that it would be vandalised and neglected however this has generally not been the case.

While some damage has been done over the years it has not been down to the youngsters who use it.

Iceni Partnership youth worker Sally Palmer said: “It has been so well used it would be a shame for it to go.

“The youngsters are so enthusiastic I know they will do everything they can to help get the funding together because they really value it.”

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