New skatepark for Woodbridge

IT HAS taken more than six years and the costs have soared from £70,000 to £140,000 - but at last a skateboard park is to be built in Woodbridge.All the money has now been raised for the facility to be used by young people from the town and surrounding area.

IT HAS taken more than six years and the costs have soared from £70,000 to £140,000 - but at last a skateboard park is to be built in Woodbridge.

All the money has now been raised for the facility to be used by young people from the town and surrounding area.

The final donation, a grant of around £35,000, is coming from a national sport funding organisation and now the contracts will be able to go out to tender later this year.

It is hoped the park will open early next year on a site behind the community centre and next to the Deben swimming pool.


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Neil Montgomery, a town councillor, has supported the project since March 2001 when young people in Woodbridge were constantly told off for skating on public roads and they asked him for help.

He organised a petition which immediately attracted hundreds of signatures.

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Cllr Montgomery announced the results of the fundraising at a meeting of the town council and said he was pleased with its success.

The Just 42 youth project in Woodbridge has been backing the plans and Mike Simpson, director of Just 42, said he was delighted.

''It is very timely and good news that the finishing line is now in sight. There has been a massive amount of difficulties to be overcome but it now looks as though we are ready for the green light.

''This will mean a lot to the young people. They have demonstrated their keenness this summer by attending a mobile skateboard park circulating in Suffolk and this shows the need for a proper facility,'' said Mr Simpson.

The district council is still awaiting confirmation that the fundraising target has been reached.

A spokesman said: ''At present we are in the final stages of trying to get national funding and we expect to be able to confirm next month that the final piece of the financial jigsaw will be in place to allow this much-wanted facility for Woodbridge's young people to get underway in January.''

The discovery of methane gas at the site significantly delayed the project and the projected costs began to mount as the years rolled by.

There has been a dispute about possible noise from skaters disrupting users of the community centre - and last year a grant-giving organisation warned that it would be difficult for them to finance the scheme if the opening hours were restricted.

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