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Bury St Edmunds: Opening jam event to mark opening of new skatepark in Olding Road

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 April 2014

Ben Gray is pictured at Bury Skatepark in 2011.

Ben Gray is pictured at Bury Skatepark in 2011.

About 1,000 people are expected to turn out for the opening jam at the revamped Bury St Edmunds Skatepark.

Following years of hard work, the new concrete skatepark – a project which has cost about £250,000 – will be opened on Sunday, May 11.

The event in Olding Road, from noon until 6pm, will bring all those who have worked on the scheme, such as the main contractors Wheelscape, funders, council officers and young people, together.

Young people on the Bury Skatepark Experience group have been actively involved in fundraising for the improved facility as well as its design.

Simon Pickering, who has given project support and works for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “The opening jam will be a really good day out actually. The main idea is to get the young people on the park and enjoying it. It’s taken a long time for it to come together. It’s about getting them on there and enjoying it now.”

The original, wooden skatepark dated back to 1998, but it had become dilapidated and needed to be upgraded.

Mr Pickering said after the BMX track there got rebuilt it was apparent the skatepark was on its “last legs”.

He said the Bury Skatepark Experience group raised £12,000 locally through a range of activities and the borough council had contributed more than £100,000. Other funders include Bury St Edmunds Town Council and Havebury Housing Partnership.

Mr Pickering said young people’s involvement in the project gave them a sense of ownership. “And that’s kind of always been part of the culture of the scene in Bury really. They really appreciate having the park and looking after it.”

He added: “It’s going to be one of the best skateparks in the region.”

He said during the summer probably about 150 to 250 people a day used the skatepark.

Work on the new facility began in January and it should be handed over around April 28/29.

There will also be music at the opening jam and Hardcore Hobbies in Bury and its suppliers will be providing prizes, such as T-shirts.

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