Skateboarders bid for play area cash

They can sometimes be seen as an urban nuisance - and you might think they would be out of place in a genteel and traditional seaside resort.But these community-minded skateboarders have secured the backing of Southwold Town Council for ambitious plans to redevelop a derelict play area.

They can sometimes be seen as an urban nuisance - and you might think they would be out of place in a genteel and traditional seaside resort.

But these community-minded skateboarders have secured the backing of Southwold Town Council for ambitious plans to redevelop a derelict play area.

When Waveney District Council invited tenders to operate the run-down Klondyke Play Area, close to Southwold Pier, the young adrenaline junkies formed the Klondyke Sports Committee to claim the area for children and families.

Nineteen-year-old George Bennett, of Barnaby Green, the committee's chairman, said: "We're skateboarders but it is not just about us, it is about the whole community.

"What we're trying to do is recreate what the area was intended for. We want to build an indestructible concrete skate-park, with decent basketball courts and a picnic and play area for families and children."

The committee drafted their own constitution and spent 18 months working on a formal plan for their scheme, which features various options peaking with the "uber plan" valued at £300,000.

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Treasurer Carl Hurr, 34, of Bartholomew Green, said: "If we win the tender, then the work really kicks in. We know the money is out there, whether it's from lottery, local organisations or our own fundraising."

Around 20 skateboarders, children and parents put their case to town councillors. Town councillor Michael Ladd hailed the "innovative and exciting plan" after Southwold's policy and finance committee approved the group's idea, which must be tendered to Waveney District Council by Friday.