Calls for the revamp of a town's 'neglected' skatepark
A skateboarding community have called for an urgent revamp of a town's skatepark, which users say has become overcrowded and "practically unrideable".
Wymondham Skatepark was built in 2007, but local skateboarders and BMXers said it has since been left to deteriorate and is now no longer fit for purpose.
Despite previous attempts to get something done, no improvements have been made. So now they have taken matter into their own hands.
Oliver White from Wymondham has set up a petition calling to Wymondham Town Council – who own the park – to give it a much-needed facelift.
The 19-year-old hopes this will show the council just how serious they are. In only a matter of days the online petition has already had more than 450 signatures.
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He said: “Wymondham has a massive population yet there are other parks in Norfolk that are so much bigger in towns with less people.
“It is ridiculous how many people there are down there at one time, especially on hot days. You cannot ride it.
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"Our 14-year-old park has been neglected and left to erode with its everyday use - the ledge is practically unrideable and potentially even dangerous at this point.
“The skate community is growing rapidly but we don’t have the facilities. For people trying to progress at the sports that we love, this is making it increasingly difficult.
“As much as we appreciate our little park for what it is, we think that it’s time to give the skatepark the renovation it deserves.”
Mr White says he would like to see the park, on Browick Road, extended to accommodate all skaters and sports including BMXing and scooters.
He also criticises its poor design and said that the current park and its ramps – which have worn away and become a danger for users – need to be fixed and made safe.
William Jackson, 18, said he has grown up using the park and a revamp would benefit the whole community.
He said: “For the skater and BMX riders and everyone who uses the park it is our place for enjoyment, letting ourselves go and having fun.
“Growing up at skateparks has made me who I am. Without them, I wouldn’t have the confidence I do today.
“You never really hear the good things that skateboarders do. We come here we pick up the litter, we sweep glass. We try to keep our space as nice as we can. But it doesn’t take a lot of people to give us a bad name.”
Jacob Whitehead, 18, said in previous years his older brothers had also attempted to get the park improved but with no success.
“The size of Wymondham has grown exponentially the more skaters turn up the less room we have and the more injuries happen,” he said.
“All of my brothers have grown up using the park. It has benefited all of us. We would love this park to get revamped and thrive and now is the perfect time.”
A spokesman from Wymondham Town Council said they will be pleased to consider any proposal put forward by a local group to improve facilities in the town. They said: "We would encourage them to form a working group with a view to bringing a presentation to the Council in due course."
When enough signatures are collected, Mr White hopes to present the council with a list of ideas and suggestions given by those who regularly use the park.
Mr White added: “We are serious about this. We care about our space.
“Wymondham is already a place that people like to visit as a historic market town.
“But an improved skatepark would bring even more people to the town, it would help the local economy and make it a nice place for everyone. Not just for skaters.”
For information you can view the petition here, https://www.change.org/p/wymondham-town-council-show-our-council-how-badly-the-wymondham-skatepark-needs-renovating.