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Skatepark joy for Ipswich enthusiasts

PUBLISHED: 10:07 10 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

YOUNGSTERS today gave the thumbs-up after it was revealed a skate park in Ipswich could be up and running by the New Year.

YOUNGSTERS today gave a thumbs-up after it was revealed a skate park in Ipswich could be up and

running by the New Year.

Skateboarders, BMX riders and in-line skaters have long been campaigning for the purpose-built park.

Now, thanks to £90,000 lottery funding, the Ipswich skate park at Stoke Bridge has moved a giant step closer.

Tina Wiles, 41, the Ipswich Skateboard Appeal secretary, said: "It is definitely going ahead now.

"We are all thrilled – the appeal group members have put in a lot of hard work. We have been

campaigning for about three years – the nearest purpose-built ones are Bury St Edmunds and Norwich."

The facility will be made of

concrete and will have floodlights, CCTV, ramps, a fun box, wall ride and grind rails.

In-line skater Marc Winterburn, 16, a student at West Suffolk College, who was practising his skills at Cromwell Square in Ipswich, welcomed the news.

"I would use it – there's no question about it," he said. "I prefer skate parks but there aren't really any around so you have to improvise."

Curtis Last, 21, manager of Unruin, the BMX shop in St Nicholas Street, is a committee member of the Ipswich Skatepark Club. He said: "We have always wanted a skate park.

"So many people ride now but there is nowhere to go. There are all sorts of pubs and clubs, but something like this keeps you fit.

"Most kids stay at home and play on the computer, but this gives you exercise, which is really important."

Brian Wilson, who manages Hoax skateboarding shop, also in St Nicholas Street, was sceptical.

"I am pleased at least it is going to be made out of concrete because it will last – originally I didn't think it would be made out of that.

"I want to use it. It depends if it is any good. But if it is any good I will be down there every night."

The skate park will offer free entry to skate boarders, BMX riders and in-line skaters.

Ipswich Borough Council contributed £40,000 towards the £167,000 scheme.

The Suffolk Environ-mental Trust gave a grant of £10,000 while Ipswich River Action Group (RAG) is helping to develop the site as part of a community area with landscaping and a picnic site.

The Ipswich Skatepark Club currently has 150 members.

Weblink

To find out more about skateboarding go to www.skateboarding.com

www.exploratorium.edu/skateboarding

www.skateboard.com

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