Delight as skatepark opens

A SKATEPARK for youngsters in a traditional Suffolk market town has finally been opened its gates - seven years after it was first suggested.

John Howard

A SKATEPARK for youngsters in a traditional Suffolk market town has finally been opened its gates - seven years after it was first suggested.

The fixed ramp facility, next to Deben Swimming Pool in Woodbridge, has been approved by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

It means that skateboarders, BMX bikers and rollerblade enthusiasts can now use the park - after many years of hard work and fundraising.

The fences surrounding the facility have been taken down, the CCTV system is operating and from now on it will be open every day from 9am to 9pm.

When it closes the floodlights illuminating the skating area will switch off automatically - saving energy and reducing light pollution.

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Doreen Savage, cabinet member for young people with Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “A huge amount of hard work and determination has gone into bringing the skatepark to the children and young people of Woodbridge and it is wonderful to think of them, honing their skills, performing tricks, and having fun.

“To celebrate its arrival, there will be a launch event held at the skatepark on January 17 which is currently being organised with help from the 3Bs (boarders, BMXers and bladers) group.

“The 3Bs are also putting in a bid for funding from the Youth Opportunity Fund to pay for youth workers to help organise future events and to send people on first aid courses.

“It is clear that this facility means a lot to our local young people and I look forward to Woodbridge skatepark offering them hours of free fun.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to remind anyone planning to use the skatepark to do so safely. Simple things like wearing a helmet, knee and elbow pads and wrist supports can make a massive difference if you trip, crash or fall.

“If any ramps or jumps look damaged or unsafe, report them to the council straight away and do not use them.”

Funding for the skatepark has come from a range of sources including Suffolk Coastal District Council, Woodbridge Town Council, Sport England, Awards for All, Woodbridge Community Council, Suffolk Coastal Community Safety Partnership, Market Towns Initiative, the County's Regeneration Fund, Community Champions, Woodbridge School and local fundraising.

The project was first mooted in 2001 when young people organised a petition appealing for the provision of a skatepark after being told off for skating on public roads.

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