Get on board: Save Our Skatepark - Cromer teenager issues SOS amid closure threat
- Credit: Ally McGilvray
Skateboarding could soon be outlawed in one of north Norfolk's busiest seaside resorts.
Cromer Town Council this week heard the town's flagship skatepark could close less than two years after it opened at the Meadow because of a lack of volunteers to help run it.
One of the project's founding members revealed the fundraising committee behind the £150,000 development is set to be stripped of its charitable status, declaring its insurance policy void, because it hasn't got enough trustees to hold a meeting to sign off its accounts - which are already three weeks late.
Now councillors are backing calls for a public meeting to attract new trustees and consider an eleventh hour bid to stop it being fenced off.
Reacting to the announcement, 19-year-old skate boarder Harry Mikellides, from Cromer, said: 'I'd be gutted if it was to close. It's always busy when the sun is out, especially in the summer when everyone is here. You sometimes can't skate because there are so many people.
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'If it wasn't here we would have to go somewhere else. We used to skate in other places but then people complained and put signs up saying: 'You can't skate here'. My mate got told by a police officer that he couldn't skate through town so this is the only place we can skate.
'There is a skatepark in Mundesley but that is probably half the size of this and the one in Sheringham is also half the width so you can't really do a lot, especially people who are just learning to skate - they can't do anything because there is nowhere you can practice.'
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Cromer mayor Tim Adams has invited anyone over the age of 18 interested in becoming a trustee of the skatepark, or finding out more about what it involves, to email him - firstname.lastname@example.org - or call 07789625033 ahead of the group's annual general meeting in North Lodge, Cromer on Wednesday, March 22, at 7pm.
And Mr Mikellides has urged as many people as possible to get on board.
Mr Adams said: 'The charity needs a minimum of four trustees and four committee members to continue. We also need a chair and vice-chair to preside over the meetings, a secretary to handle correspondence and take minutes and a Treasurer to maintain the accounts.
'As the charity is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, trustees have no financial or legal liability and the minimum requirement is to attend meetings.
'A discussion on the longer term will also need to take place.
Cromer Town Council made a £21,000 contribution towards the costs of the skate park and its Councillors have agreed to help with the charity until a decision has been made on its future. The charity can continue if fundraising is undertaken, or it could cease if another body or organisation was found to manage it.
'Besides these legal, financial and administrative functions of the Charity, work is also needed for it to engage with the users, plan events and carry out maintenance and inspections.
'The skate park is currently structurally sound and insured by a reputable provider, but money will need to be spent in the near future on the ongoing costs and future repairs. A fund will also need to be built up for the long-term renewal or replacement of the skatepark.'
The meeting heard that many of the charity's original trustees left after the park opened in the summer of 2015.
Mr Mikellides added: 'It took a long time to get the money for the skatepark and it hasn't been here that long. It probably took longer to raise the money to build it than it has actually been here.'