No cash for new skatepark
NO lottery cash will be given to Felixstowe or Woodbridge for their new skateboard parks – because funding has been axed.Sports lottery money is no longer being targeted at such facilities, leaving skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders deeply disappointed.
NO lottery cash will be given to Felixstowe or Woodbridge for their new skateboard parks – because funding has been axed.
Sports lottery money is no longer being targeted at such facilities, leaving skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders deeply disappointed.
Ipswich's £170,000 new skatepark was one of the last to receive lottery funding – adding £100,000 to money raised by supporters.
In Felixstowe, campaigners were hoping a similar sum might be available to add to the £70,000 already pledged by local authorities and other organisations.
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But Joe Liggett, leisure services manager at Suffolk Coastal, said unfortunately money will not be forthcoming.
However, he believed the new Felixstowe skatepark – set to be built on open space at Cavendish Park – would be an excellent facility for the resort's youngsters and almost as good as Ipswich's on nights when a mobile skateboard facility would be sited alongside it.
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"The sports lottery is no longer taking any bids for skatepark facilities and was closed seven or eight months ago after the government changed the agenda," said Mr Liggett.
"Even so, Sport England had more bids than it had funding for.
"There are though 132 other lottery funds and about 3,500 other trusts, and while I am not going to stick my neck out and say anything is going to change, as you can see there are a wide variety of potential sources from which we may get some extra funding."
There was a possibility perhaps up to £90,000 in total might be raised for the scheme. In addition, Suffolk Coastal was looking to spend £30,000 on a mobile skatepark, primarily for villages and smaller urban areas but which could sometimes be used in Felixstowe.
"I have seen what the local kids are saying in Felixstowe, that if you cannot provide something costing £150,000 then don't bother, it'll be a wash-out," said Mr Liggett.
"But that's because they are looking at something equivalent to Ipswich. We are saying, hang on a minute, Ipswich already attracts a large number of skateboarders and we are not in the business of competing with Ipswich.
"What we need is a complimentary facility, a facility which is appropriate to our community. I think there is a level of aspiration which in my view is unrealistic.
"There may be nights in summer though where perhaps once a week we would bring the mobile facility to Felixstowe and place it next to the permanent one – creating a park almost as good as Ipswich's."
Views are being sought from skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX enthusiasts as to what the park should feature.
n Where should Felixstowe's skatepark be – and what should it contain? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk