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Skateboard cash used for new sport pitch

PUBLISHED: 22:45 02 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:54 02 March 2010

CASH earmarked for a long-awaited skateboard park at Felixstowe is to be used for another scheme, which has been on the drawing board for years.

Councillors are being asked to take £15,000 from a pot of money set aside for the park and use it towards their contribution for a new £475,000 all-weather sports pitch which will be used by around 23,000 people a year.

CASH earmarked for a long-awaited skateboard park at Felixstowe is to be used for another scheme, which has been on the drawing board for years.

Councillors are being asked to take £15,000 from a pot of money set aside for the park and use it towards their contribution for a new £475,000 all-weather sports pitch which will be used by around 23,000 people a year.

Suffolk Coastal says there is a deep-seated opposition to putting the skateboard park on open space in Grange Farm Avenue which could take a long time to resolve and may result in the scheme being scaled down.

Meanwhile, if money is not given to the all-weather surface at Orwell High School, the opportunity to provide the pitch may be lost.

District councillors are being asked to find £90,000 towards the pitch, which will be used for hockey, football training, school and community sports.

It has £60,000 in its playspace fund - money from developers unable to provide recreation areas when building homes - and will add to this £30,000 of its own. This money will come from savings on fencing work, grant money and £15,000 from the skateboard scheme.

Members of the cabinet are asked to agree the funding next Tuesday .

The rest of the money will come from:

n Football Foundation - £260,000

n Orwell High/county council - £25,000

n Felixstowe Hockey Club - £15,000

n Felixstowe Council for Sport and Recreation - £5,000

n Felixstowe Town Council - £5,000

n Landfill Tax Credit - bid for £15,000

n Sport England - bid for £60,000.

A report to the cabinet stated: "If the council is not able to provide partnership funding at this point in time there is a risk that the window of opportunity will pass as project partners will feel discouraged and focus on other priorities."

A project to provide an all-weather pitch was first put forward in 1994 but funding could not be found.

The need for the pitch - which was given planning permission by the county council earlier this year - has since become more desperate.

Lack of hockey pitches mean home games have to be played out of town making it more difficult to recruit young players.

Moving to the new pitch will free up grass hockey pitches to be used for junior football at the Dellwood Avenue Ground, with young footballers able to use the new football pitch-sized all-weather surface on weekday evenings for training.

It will also mean possibly a pavilion at the Town Ground can be demolished and footballers and cricketers can share the same improved one in future.

n. Do you think money should be taken from the skateboard park? Are you a disappointed skateboarder? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 2EL or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk


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