Boost for Cromer skate park hopes

The success of a mobile skate park on the cliff-top in Cromer has brought renewed appeals for the town to have a permanent attraction.

Some 65 children took advantage of Wednesday's ramps, 'half pipe' skating surface and climbing wall, paid for by community groups.

The temporary park was set up on part of the town's Runton Road Car Park following the success of a similar scheme last Easter.

Supporters, who included the Poppyland Partnership and Cromer Parish Church, collected 85 signatures through the day on a petition supporting a permanent skate park.

Edward Land, youth minister with the parish church, said Cromer was one of the only towns in the area without a skate park and local children had to travel elsewhere. Facilities already existed in North Walsham, Aylsham, Sheringham, Stalham, Great Yarmouth, and even smaller villages including Buxton.

'It gives kids who have nothing to do another option, rather than hanging about on the streets. There are a lot of young people in Cromer, a growing surf/beach culture and there should be a wheeled park in the town where they can express themselves through their sport,' said Mr Land.

'The site that springs to mind is North Lodge Park which is in a good, central location, and is already Tarmaced,' The Meadow would be a good alternative, he added.

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Canon Derek Elton, who was watching his nine-year-old grandson Peter Lally practise his BMX skills, agreed that North Lodge Park, which has been opposed as a venue by nearby residents, would make a good site.

'There are only a few people who live nearby but they make a lot of noise about it,' said Canon Elton, of Alfred Road, Cromer.

'I've felt for a long time that there is a need for a skate park in Cromer. It's a good thing for boys and girls and younger teenagers - there isn't a lot for them in this area.'

Cromer schoolboy Liam Robertshaw, 12, who was practising with his scooter, said he thought there were some good places in Cromer for a permanent park and he got annoyed when people told him not to play in the streets 'Do they want children to stay indoors all day?' he asked.

Sponsors also included Cromer Christian Fellowship, Cromer Town Council fireworks fund, Cromer Carnival Committee and the Kingswood Activity Centre. The equipment was provided at half price of �850 by Highline Adventure, of Downham Market. North Norfolk District Council allowed free use of the car park's hard-standing area.

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