A project to update the crumbling Bury St Edmunds skatepark has been given a ‘massive’ boost by the town council.
Members of the Bury St Edmunds skatepark committee made a presentation to the council’s finance committee last night, outlining the need to replace the outdated ramps.
They had been asking the council for £15,000 towards a £300,000 project.
But councillors were so convinced of the benefits of the skatepark that they decided to give £20,000 instead. The unanimous move will have to be approved by full council on November 28.
Simon Pickering a youth and community development officer at St Edmundsbury Borough Council said the skatepark was built in 1999 but in the past five years, £50,000 had been spent on repairs to keep it open.
“Most skateparks on average last five year, this one has lasted us more than 12 years,” he told the committee.
He said it is used by about 1,000 people a week while the annual meeting of youngsters held there - the skate jam – is the biggest free jam in the UK.
“For the size of the town, the skate scene is massive,” he said.
The plan is to replace wooden ramps with concrete which Mr Pickering said should last 30 years with no repair costs.
The skatepark committee already has £150,000 from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and £10,000 it raised itself.
Mr Pickering said the work is being planned in phases with phase one due to start in the spring ready for completion by the summer holidays.
After hearing of the council’s decision, skatepark committee member Ben Gray said: “I’m quite speechless. I wasn’t expecting this. That is phenomenal It is a massive help.
“We have been trying to raise awareness of the social benefits it brings to the community. It is really good that they understand where we are coming from.”
See tomorrow’s (16) Bury Free Press for our full story