New effort for skate park

PARENTS and teenagers in Felixstowe have set up a fundraising group to try to find the £55,000 they need for a new skatepark for the resort.

PARENTS and teenagers in Felixstowe have set up a fundraising group to try to find the £55,000 they need for a new skatepark for the resort.

Community leaders have agreed to give £85,000 towards the £140,000 project, and planning permission has already been approved for a site on the open space in Grange Farm Avenue.

The new group - based at the Level2 youth centre - will be applying to the lottery and other grant-giving bodies to try to raise the remainder of the money needed for the project.

Around 30 young people and ten adults attended a meeting to set up the group, which says it has tremendous enthusiasm, is planning a number of fundraising events and activities and is determined to make the skatepark a reality.

Town clerk Susan Robinson said to help the new group with its bid for grants, the town council had agreed to help in two ways.

It has earmarked £30,000 from its reserves and also asked Suffolk Coastal council to use £40,000 from the playspace fund for the project.

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The playspace fund comprises cash which developers pay towards recreation facilities when they build new houses.

The money is held in the fund until it is needed, and has been used for a number of schemes, including improvements to play areas in Gosford Way, Seaton Road and Adastral Close.

Mrs Robinson said: “By allocating the money now for this project it will enable the fundraising group to apply for grants from a variety of bodies to gain 'match funding'.

“We will not be giving the money until the appropriate time but at least they know it has been agreed and the project has our support.”

Mrs Robinson said there had been some concerns from residents of Cavendish Park, Grange Farm and Orwell Green that the skatepark would worsen problems with anti-social behaviour.

However, police had already started to deal with anti-social and alcohol-related problems in the area - foot patrols had been stepped up, drink confiscated from youths and poured away, and letters sent home to parents.

The 20m by 30m skateboarding area is to be built 1.2m below ground level and enclosed on two sides and surrounded by a footpath. There will be floodlighting for use until 8.30pm each day plus CCTV and an alcohol ban.

Do you think Orwell Green is the right place for a skatepark? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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