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New hope for Felixstowe skatepark

PUBLISHED: 12:30 18 May 2007 | UPDATED: 16:41 03 March 2010

YOUNGSTERS in Felixstowe are celebrating today as their dream of a skatepark was given fresh hope with a £25,000 grant.

They still have to raise around £80,000 towards the £180,000 scheme before building work can start on Orwell Green in Grange Farm Avenue, but it is a big step forward.

YOUNGSTERS in Felixstowe are celebrating today as their dream of a skatepark was given fresh hope with a £25,000 grant.

They still have to raise around £80,000 towards the £180,000 scheme before building work can start on Orwell Green in Grange Farm Avenue, but it is a big step forward.

“Felixstowe's Level 2 youth project is now leading on the fundraising efforts for this project. It has already been successful in gaining a £25,000 grant from the government's youth opportunity fund and youth capital fund after Suffolk Coastal teen views supported its bid,” said Doreen Savage, cabinet member for young people at Suffolk Coastal council.

“This was always a community project, and there is still quite a long way to go to secure all the necessary funding, but the uncertainty about its future has now been lifted following a recent decision by the Ombudsman which will be a big boost for the fundraisers.”

Residents complained to the local government ombudsman, who investigates complaints of maladministration against councils, about the handling of the planning application and the siting of the 20 metre by 30-metre skateboard and BMX park.

But the Ombudsman has announced there were no grounds to investigate Suffolk Coastal's decision.

“We have received the all-clear from the Ombudsman on the way with which this particular issue was dealt and I am pleased that on every area of complaint there has been no fault found in this council's actions,” said Mrs Savage.

“The council is committed to working closely with local groups to help find the rest of the money, but for the project to succeed there needs to be a concerted and united effort by the community, particularly young people, to successfully bridge the gap.”

So far Felixstowe Town Council has backed the project with £30,000, while Suffolk Coastal's cabinet agreed £15,000 and a further £40,000 has been set aside from the council's playspace fund, generated from housing developments in the town.

The skatepark will be built 1.2 metres below ground level, with a 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.

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