FUND-RAISING is going well towards funding a new skatepark in Bury St Edmunds, which could cost up to £300,000.
Bury Skatepark Experience, a committee supported by the Bury Free Press which is leading fund-raising efforts, has already raised £8,000 itself.
And its efforts have received a generous boost from St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which has agreed to fund £150,000, and from Waitrose, which raised £229 for the project through its Community Matters scheme.
Harry Hughes, 13, from Bury, said: “It’s good that we’ve got so far in such a short amount of time.
“We’ve still got a long way to go but we’ll get there.”
An annual event, the biggest in the skatepark’s diary, will be held next month and, to help boost funds, entry to the site in Olding Road is being charged for the first time, at £3 per head.
Louie Meyers-Bickel, committee member, said: “We need to charge for it this year because we’ve had such a good turn out in the past and, with the council giving us half of the money, it’s the only way we’re going to be able to push for the rest.
“The new skatepark will last at least 30 years and will be up there with the top skateparks in the country so it’s a small price to pay to help get it rolling.”
The park’s original wooden structure, installed in 1999, is to be replaced with a bespoke concrete design.
Work on it is expected to start in February and will take around three months to complete.
Companies wanting to carry out the work are being asked to apply to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which is assisting with the group’s applications.
Six will then be shortlisted and asked to pitch their ideas to the park’s users towards the end of October.
Anyone with ideas about the park’s ‘must have’ and ‘should have’ design features is being asked to post their ideas on the group’s Facebook page, to find it search Bury Skatepark Experience, or on the Bury Free Press website, go to www.buryfreepress.co.uk
Last Thursday, the group met to discuss its latest plans for the project, with concerns raised about ‘cramming too much in’ to the design and about the importance of getting the right type of surface to avoid it becoming slippery when wet.
Businesses interested in sponsoring the new skatepark should email the group’s secretary, Stefanie Buchan, at: firstname.lastname@example.org