At last skate park is under construction at Wisbech's Bath Road
At last skate boarding and scooter fans in Wisbech will be able to enjoy a new facility from next month - at least five years after hopes of a new skate park were first raised.
The new park, which is currently under construction at Bath Road, has been made possible with £35,000 of Fenland Council funding, and money raised by the community, but most importantly thanks to a £30,000 grant from Clarion Housing.
Waterlees Ward Fenland Councillors Mike and Virginia Bucknor, who backed the campaign for the new skate park after young people from their ward raised the issue, are "chuffed" with the project finally taking shape.
Coun Mrs Bucknor said: "Finally we can see the project coming to a conclusion. It has taken five long years or more, but the young people of Waterlees and Wisbech as a whole will have the skate park they have been asking for.
"It has been a real community effort, the original young people who came forward to launch the project have all grown up and have probably moved on, but there are 1,500 young people in Waterlees who will benefit from their determination.
"The young people helped choose the final design for the park and helped with fundraising including doing bucket collections and bag packing. The town council came up with Section 106 money and Fenland Council also gave money but to be honest it would not have been possible without Clarion Housing coming up with their £30,000 donation. Originally they were going to give £10,000 which meant there was still a lot of fundraising ahead. But they agreed to increase the amount and now we have workers on site.
"The workers have said it is the 'best job in the world' because of all the public support and positive feedback they have been getting. It is hoped the new skate park will be completed before the end of next month, which is fantastic news as it will be ready just in time for the better weather and summer."
Town councillor Andy Maul, who was among a group of town councillors and volunteers who completed a parachute jump last year and raised just under £3,000 for the scheme, is equally delighted with the progress.
"It is great to see work has started. Jumping out of a plane was quite scary, but also fun and we raised a good amount for the skate park. It is great the town council came up with the Section 106 money, but we must say a big thank-you to Clarion for their donation."
He said there will be an official opening with a special fun day once the work is complete.
Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures, said: “We are delighted to be supporting a project that has been led by the community and will give so much back to local people. Clarion Futures exists to provide new opportunities for our residents and we’re certain the new skate park will benefit residents for many years to come.”
Councillor Laura Cobb, one of the councillors who represents the Waterlees ward on Wisbech Town Council, said: “Since becoming a town councillor in September 2017 I have worked with Wisbech Town Council, Fenland District Council and other partners to achieve the replacement of the skate park at Bath Road.
“One of the reasons I stood to become a member of the town council was to try to achieve improvements to youth facilities on the Waterlees ward and to get the children what they want, need and deserve. I am over the moon a start has been made on this project and look forward to seeing it completed, along with further work on the ward in particular and the town
“The delivery of this project shows what can be achieved where there is a will and desire among partner agencies to work together to address a community need. I know that my pleasure in seeing this much-needed facility being provided for the young people of Wisbech is shared by Wisbech Town Council as a whole.”
Fenland District Council's open spaces team will provide expertise to help build the new facility, alongside the engineering team, and will maintain the skate park once it is finished.