More cash needed for skatepark

COMMUNITY leaders are being asked to agree more cash for a skatepark in Felixstowe - because companies say the �150,000 raised is not enough to build the facility.

COMMUNITY leaders are being asked to agree more cash for a skatepark in Felixstowe - because companies say the �150,000 raised is not enough to build the facility.

Unless a contract is signed by the end of March, �50,000 of the funding secured will be lost.

Despite more than two years of fundraising for the skateboard and BMX bike park, firms which put in bids to build it came back and said more money would be needed if youngsters' hopes were to be met.

Tomorrow Suffolk Coastal's cabinet will be asked to agree a further �30,000 from two council funds, one of which is used to promote outdoor play.

Cabinet member Doreen Savage said: “Intensive fund raising, including a successful bid to Suffolk County Council's Playbuilder fund, resulted in the project going out for tender in December 2008 with a set and disclosed budget of �150,000.

“Unfortunately, none of the tenders received fully met expectations.

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“Some tenderers said the budget was insufficient to meet the requirements of the planning permission.

“The original six short-listed companies have been invited to re-tender for this project, with a revised stated budget of �180,000 and a return date of March 4.

“The Playbuilder Grant of �50,000 is conditional upon a contract being let by March 31.”

The �180,000 will include �75,000 from Suffolk Coastal with two-thirds of that from its outdoor playspace fund to which developers contribute when they build homes, �30,000 from Felixstowe Town Council and �5,000 raised by the Felixstowe Skate Park Association.

The skatepark will be built on open space off Grange Farm Avenue and placed 1.2 metres below ground level, with landscaped mounds on three sides to reduce noise.

There will be floodlighting, CCTV, and an alcohol ban, and the area will be monitored by police.

Will a skatepark be good for Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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