Wisbech Town Council is promising a summer of fun with investment in the town’s play areas including a state-of-the-art skate park at Bath Road.
Around £35,000 of section 106 money - cash given by developers to provide infra-structure and amenities - and it is hoped this will be match funded by community organisation WREN for the Bath Road skate park, which will replace the previous one demolished earlier this year on safety grounds.
However, Councillor Virginia Bucknor, who represents the Waterlees Village on Fenland District Council, is warning it may take longer than next summer to get all the necessary funding in place.
The four newly elected town councillors: Laura Cobb, Andrew Lynn, Billy Rackley and Andy Maul put the replacement skate park at the forefront of their election campaign, and Coun Bucknor and others in the area have also been trying to get a new park provided for some time.
Town council Clerk Terry Jordan confirmed Fenland District Council were putting aside £35,000 from Section 106 money for the skate park, and said the overall cost is likely to be in the region of £70,000, but it will be the district council driving the project.
He said some costs like fencing and provision of a suitable footing will be saved as they are already in place from the previous skate park, which will help keep costs down.
However, Coun Bucknor said: “The recently opened skate park in Chatteris cost £110,000 and is a fantastic amenity for the children of the town. We have over 1,500 children in Waterlees - around 1,000 more than the whole of Chatteris - so we will need to look at providing something at least on the same scale.
“I know the town council is hoping it will all be ready for next summer but that may be overly optimistic because there are still several steps that need to be taken first before we can start applying for grant funding. We will be looking for at least match funding from WREN as well as other funding sources.
“It is fantastic news that we are making progress and the new councillors are helping to take the project forward, but what we don’t want to do is raise expectations and then not meet them.”
Councillor Laura Cobb said: “We have been pushing for this skate park since the election and it is great that at last Monday’s town council policy and resources committee it was agreed to spend this section 106 money on the Bath Road skate park - especially as some of it was in danger of being taken back by the developers as it had not been used.”
Councillor Steve Tierney added: “What we hope to do is invest not only in the skate park but also in new equipment for what is known as the Spider Park in Walsoken, as well as the play area at Burcroft Road. We will also be relocating the zip wire in the town park to a more central location and adding additional play equipment there too. It will hopefully be a summer of fun in Wisbech.”