Campaign for new indoor skate park in Great Yarmouth promoted by event

Ollie Mawbs and Abbie Raynsford of the Playground campaign to give Great Yarmouth a new indoor skati

Ollie Mawbs and Abbie Raynsford of the Playground campaign to give Great Yarmouth a new indoor skating venue - Credit: David Hannant

Campaigners hoping to fill the void left by the Park Warehouse skate park in Great Yarmouth are looking to gather all the support they can.

At a 'Skate Jam' event at St George's Theatre Cafe in Great Yarmouth today, the group showed off their skills, while sharing their message: that they need a place to express themselves.

Running until 6pm, the event is inviting fellow skateboarders and members of the public to learn about their campaign, which they hope will result in a new indoor skate park for the town.

Ollie Mawbs, 22 of Hemsby, has been skateboarding since he was 10-years-old, and said that since the Park Warehouse closed last year, he has to travel all the way to Norwich for a suitable facility.

He said: 'Great Yarmouth needs something like this. Most of the people here today have nowhere to skate in poor conditions, so when it is winter we have the choice of travelling to Norwich or not skating at all.

'Today is all about getting the skating community together and showing people that there is a demand for this, and we could do with all the support we can get.

'The park would not just open up opportunities for skateboarders, but also BMX riding, scooters and could even serve as a live music venue and community centre.'

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The project is in early stages, but the hope is to bring a new indoor park to the town, which will be called The Playground.

Abie Raynsford, a community development worker, is fronting the campaign, having first found out about it at a consultation with Voluntary Norfolk, the Coastal Community and Great Yarmouth Borough Council earlier this year.

She said: 'It was devastating when the other park shut down and I think it is really important that Great Yarmouth gets something to replace in.

'I really believe in this campaign, and the young people behind it are so enthusiastic and passionate about it.'

The campaign already has the support of a number of different organisations associated with the hobby, including the Drug Store skating shop in Norwich and Smash Skates in Lowestoft.

The event continues until 6pm, giving the opportunity to watch skateboarders show off tricks, listen to live deejays and learn about the project.

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