Skate on policy at Ipswich Skatepark

SKATEBOARDERS in Ipswich should be able to continue enjoying their favourite sport despite insurance problems which have forced other parks to close.Ipswich Skatepark is insured through Ipswich council, and Tina Wiles from the appeal which set up the park remained confident insurance would not be a problem.

By Paul Geater

SKATEBOARDERS in Ipswich should be able to continue enjoying their favourite sport despite insurance problems which have forced other parks to close.

Ipswich Skatepark is insured through Ipswich council, and Tina Wiles from the appeal which set up the park remained confident insurance would not be a problem.

"We have our insurance arranged through the council, and we take great care to ensure everything is as safe as possible," she said.

Mrs Wiles was speaking after a skatepark in Norwich was forced to close when its insurers withdrew cover.

But she was confident a similar fate would not befall the Ipswich park – as she inspected the equipment with council officials.

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"We have done everything needed by the insurers and are very careful this is as safe as possible.

"In a sport like this you cannot say no one will ever get injured – if you want to do something risk-free, take up table tennis," she said.

"We have been contacted by skatepark groups across the country to ask for advice on things like insurance – I really don't think we have a problem," she said.

The Extreme Fun Skate Park in Norwich closed its doors for the final time after being unable to find another insurance company willing to offer cover in case skateboarders are injured.

The shock closure saw six members of staff lose their jobs and it means young skaters will now be forced to risk injuries from their daredevil skills on the streets.

Operators of the park had hoped to stay open until at least next May in the former garage that will eventually be pulled down as part of the redevelopment of the bus station in Surrey Street.

They are now desperately trying to find a home for the hand-made park ramps and jumps after insurers, Lloyd's of London, withdrew cover midway through their annual policy.

A spokesman for insurance market Lloyd's of London said: "There are currently a lot of issues surrounding these type of personal injury liability policies and for things like firework displays and children's theme parks.

"Normally problems are raised at the time of renewal. It is unusual for a policy to be ended midway."

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