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Town could lose its only skatepark - or be on track for brand new one

PUBLISHED: 11:31 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:58 06 January 2020

Bungay skatepark may be destroyed by the council  after wear and tear and vandalism has made it unsafe to use. Picture: Nick Butcher

Bungay skatepark may be destroyed by the council after wear and tear and vandalism has made it unsafe to use. Picture: Nick Butcher

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A town skatepark may be taken down by the council which built it after wear and tear and vandalism has made it ‘unsafe to use’.

A fundraising campaign saw Beccles skatepark massively improved in May 2019. Picture: Greta LevyA fundraising campaign saw Beccles skatepark massively improved in May 2019. Picture: Greta Levy

Bungay skatepark has for 15 years been a place for young people to meet, exercise and have fun in a town without many opportunities for them.

But after years of use have damaged the ramps and a recent spate of 'mindless' vandalism has happened, according to Bungay Town Council, councillors are "left with a dilemma as to its future".

The skatepark, which opened in 2005, has been closed for the last three months after one of the bins was set on fire which "brought alarms to the council in terms of safety".

Jacob Pink using Beccles skatepark, before it was refurbished. Pic: Nick ButcherJacob Pink using Beccles skatepark, before it was refurbished. Pic: Nick Butcher

The council has also noticed many of the ramps are damaged, and the facilities are out of date when compared to the nearby £150,000 Beccles skatepark, which is more modern, and made from lasting concrete.

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Bungay town clerk Jeremy Burton said the council was "very disappointed to reach this point" and added "we are reluctant to lose this facility".

Councillor Morris Rose opens the Bungay skatepark in May 2005. Photo: Nick ButcherCouncillor Morris Rose opens the Bungay skatepark in May 2005. Photo: Nick Butcher

He said: "Funding is limited and there are many demands on the council's budget. Bungay Town Council would very much welcome support and ideas from its residents in terms of planning the most appropriate way to take this forward."

The council is considering whether there is interest in funding repairs at the skatepark, or even replacing it with a brand new facility such as the one in Beccles.

"Investigations have been carried out into both repair and replacement costs and the council is keen for the public to play their part in determining the park's future," a spokesperson said.

"It's just a case of getting people involved because of the amount of work and cost involved. But if there is no public desire then it will close, which will be a shame."

Mr Burton said interested parties (in fundraising ideas or the future of the space) should contact him on 01986 894236 or at clerk@bungaytowncouncil.gov.uk.

The future of the skatepark will also be discussed at this Thursday's town council meeting, which starts at 7pm at the Riverside Centre.

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