Kessingland skatepark dream a step closer

Kessingland skatepark plans backed.Youngsters and parish councillors on the proposed site on the pla

Kessingland skatepark plans backed.Youngsters and parish councillors on the proposed site on the playing field off Francis Road.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A determined campaign to secure a skatepark for youngsters in a Suffolk village is poised to take a big leap forward.

For more than 10 years there have been calls for new facilities for skateboarders and BMX enthusiasts in Kessingland as young people are forced to travel to Lowestoft to enjoy their hobbies.

But now the Kessingland Skatepark Support Group group – the driving force behind plans for a skatepark on the Francis Road playing field – is preparing to bid for £50,000 to help build it.

The group is about to send a grant request to WREN, a not-for-profit business that offers financial support to community, conservation and heritage projects using funding from the landfill tax.

If the grant is approved, it will go a long way to meeting the group's target of £120,000 which it says it needs to build the park.

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Nick Suker, of the skatepark support group, said he was hopeful that other funding streams could be tapped into so that work on the park could start this year.

The group is looking at four possible designs for the park, which it plans to maintain itself, and a decision on the winning bid will rest on how much funding is secured.

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Mr Suker said: 'In a perfect world, we want to get the building done in the summer and get it down before the end of the year comes.'

He added that the plans were being supported by Kessingland Parish Council, which owns the playing field, and Liam Martin, parish council chairman, said members were happy with the way plans were progressing.

The skatepark plans were delayed because of opposition from the Kessingland Sport and Social Centre (KSSC), which holds the lease for the playing field.

It feared it might end up footing the bill for the park's upkeep and claimed there were more suitable sites in the village for it.

However, the opposition was dropped after the KSSC's management committee stood down in April last year.

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