Fears for Felixstowe skate park

A LEADING campaigner for a Felixstowe skateboard park fears it could be "a waste of money" unless its features are challenging enough.Town councillors have agreed a £70,000 skateboard park for open space on the town's Cavendish Park – making dreams come true for youngsters after nearly two decades of campaigning.

A LEADING campaigner for a Felixstowe skateboard park fears it could be "a waste of money" unless its features are challenging enough.

Town councillors have agreed a £70,000 skateboard park for open space on the town's Cavendish Park – making dreams come true for youngsters after nearly two decades of campaigning.

But Stephen Flynn, who submitted plans to the town council a year ago for a £170,000 facility, could not understand why Felixstowe is not following Ipswich's example and going for a Lottery Grant.

Town clerk Susan Robinson has said the park will be a "sensible basic facility" based on feedback from young people.


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But she warned it would not compare with Ipswich's new park, which cost £170,000 including a £90,000 lottery grant, as the town council did not have the cash.

She said: "The company we are working with has assured us that it will be attractive for young people to use, but I don't want to raise expectations that it will be like the Ipswich project, which was very expensive."

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But Mr Flynn said he could not understand why the town council was not applying for a lottery bid – especially as it was confident of raising the rest of the money.

He said: "To be honest, if it's not like Ipswich or better, I think it will be a waste of money and an absolute flop.

"I am not sure that for £70,000 we will get a facility which the kids will really want to use.

"Plenty of kids from Felixstowe go to Ipswich and some to Bury St Edmunds because they want a big variety of half-pipes, jumps and ramps.

"If Ipswich got a £90,000 lottery grant, then why can't Felixstowe?

"This is a huge opportunity – if we only got match funding from the lottery we would have £140,000 and get a really decent facility here."

He was also disappointed that Langer Park had been vetoed as a site after noise tests revealed there could be an impact on nearby properties.

He said: "We had roller-skating there for years with music and loud speakers and there were no complaints."

Mr Flynn drew up plans a year ago with top BMX rider Steve Upson which they had hoped the town council would use.

The town council has agreed to underwrite £30,000 of the £70,000 cost, while £20,000 will come from play scheme contributions generated by housing development, £15,000 from Suffolk Coastal, and £5,000 each from Awards for All and the Crime and Disorder Partnership.

n What do you think Felixstowe's skateboard park should feature? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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