Village opens community skatepark

Opening and unveiling of a skate park in Fornham All Saints by David Ruffley
Opening and unveiling of a skate park in Fornham All Saints by David Ruffley
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Fornham All Saints celebrated the grand opening of its new skate park at the weekend.

MP David Ruffley officially opened the community venture on Saturday joined by and Mayor of St Edmundsbury Terry Buckle, parish councillors and residents.

Parish council chairman Howard Quayle said the project was sparked off by a group of bold youngsters.

He said: “It came into fruition in July 2011 when a group of village youngsters and their parents came to a council meeting and asked if we could set up a skatepark in the village.”

“We thought about it and decided we wanted to help.

“From there, we approached a number of skatepark suppliers and came across Highline Extreme Ltd.

“They came up with the skatepark plans which the kids also helped to design.

“Then we looked for external funding for the project.”

The skatepark, which cost around £35,000 to build, was funded by various sources .

These included St Edmundsbury Borough Council, the parish council, the Suffolk Community Foundation, Havebury Housing Partnership and money from the Bury Free Press Helping Hands appeal with St Edmund’s Wheel.

Money was also contributed from Cllr Beccy Hopfensperger’s locality budget, the Co-op Membership Community Fund and around £800 raised by young people in the village.

Howard said the park had been very popular already.

“The kids started using it in early November and are thoroughly enjoying it,” he said.

“The big issue was that these kids had to rely on their parents taking them into Bury to visit a skatepark.

“Villages have choices to make – they can be places where people retire or they can try to make them vibrant and suitable for all ages in the community.”