New skatepark for youngsters

PUBLISHED: 13:30 19 November 2010

Churchill Skate Park. Jake Ormond(17yrs) calling for a new ramp, the current one is old, and is in poor condition.

Churchill Skate Park. Jake Ormond(17yrs) calling for a new ramp, the current one is old, and is in poor condition.

Archant

A NEW £25,000 skatepark could be built in Churchill in a bid to restore the 'spark' keen youngsters once felt for the now rundown ramp which is in 'desperate' need of repair.

Wheelscape outline 2

The current half-pipe, near the doctor’s surgery in Ladymead Lane, was bought by the parish council about five years ago, but regular users have grown tired of the dated ramp which needs modernising.

Members of the parish council leisure committee admit the facility needs an overhaul, even if done in stages, and say they are keen to see a new ‘bespoke’ proposal.

Regular Churchill skater Jake Ormond, aged 17, said: “There is nowhere else around that we can skate and if we were to get a new one it would be great. It would give skaters and the area the spark that we once had.

“I used to skate every day in the summer and lots of people used it at the weekends but now it’s not as good, as the panels are lifting up and there’s always a big puddle at the bottom.”

A minimum of £25,000 would be needed to pursue the plans and skatepark construction company, Wheelscape, has been working with Churchill users to come up with a fitting design.

Former Churchill Community School pupil and Wheelscape designer, James Chalk, attended the parish council leisure committee, along with Jake, to present their vision to council members.

They proposed a new 10m long, 7m wide and 1.2m high concrete half-pipe featuring two tombstone extensions.

James said: “We have great plans for the proposed concrete skate ramp that hopefully will replace the old steel half-pipe structure that is in desperate need of replacement. The council has been very supportive of the proposals and is aware of the need to channel young people’s potential and bring the community together.”

James said the current site lends itself to a ‘phased’ build and a small street-style park could be added at a later date or at the same time dependent on the council’s intentions.

Wheelscape is now in the process of designing a bespoke skate park for Churchill to show the full parish council at a future meeting.

James said a concrete ramp is far more durable and low maintenance than other materials, it dries the quickest, is vandal-proof and is quieter than steel or wood.

Councillors say despite the leisure committee’s budget being £12,000 this year, it is unlikely to be as much in the next financial year so a big fund-raising effort would be needed to secure the skatepark.

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