Young people ‘tackled monumental task’ to achieve new £200k skatepark

Young people who led the project over the past three years Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Young people who led the project over the past three years Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Young people in Newmarket have been praised for showing “drive, determination and teamwork” in leading a project for a new skatepark.

Skatepark funders and supporters L-R Penny Taylor, Godolphin; Lisa Collins, Newmarket Academy; Rache

Skatepark funders and supporters L-R Penny Taylor, Godolphin; Lisa Collins, Newmarket Academy; Rachel Darville, Police; Damien Parker, West Suffolk Council; Alison Hayes, Newmarket Journal; Fiona Butcher, Orbit Housing Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

The old, unfit-for-purpose skatepark on George Lambton playing fields has now been replaced with a free flowing all-in-one concrete space with a new bowl feature.

And the installation of lighting and security cameras at the newly-opened park marks the completion of the three-year-long project, led by young people throughout.

It was initiated in 2017 and students from Newmarket Academy began fundraising the following year.

Orbit House, West Suffolk Council, Anglian Water and Godolphin helped meet the £192,000 cost of the first phase, the concrete space.

MORE: Plans for new skatepark gather speedFiona Butcher, place-making and partnership manager of Orbit housing, said: “One of the most rewarding things about this project is that it has been the pupils who have driven its success from the start after they first approached Orbit with their ideas and requested funding for a new skatepark because the old one was unfit for purpose.

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“Since then, it has been a real collaborative approach and shows what a thriving community can achieve when it works together. I am so pleased that the skate park has been completed. Well done to all those involved, especially Newmarket’s young people who have shown drive, determination and teamwork throughout this process. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them.”

Nick Froy, principal of Newmarket Academy, said: “I am delighted that the students are enjoying the fruits of their years of effort.

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“They have worked incredibly hard with the support of the Orbit housing group, Anglian Water, Godolphin, and the town, district and county councils to make this plan come to life and in so doing contribute to the improvement of our town and provide our young people with a skatepark. I am so proud of their vision, commitment and resilience.”

MORE: Sid Hudson set to return home after skate park accidentThe young people developed the bespoke design with their preferred contractor, Gravity Engineering Ltd, who completed the concrete space at the end of August.

The now-completed second phase includes new and upgraded lighting, security cameras and bins and will allow year-round use as well as improving a key section of the Yellow Brick Road pedestrian and cycle link between residential areas and the town centre.

This phase cost £43,000 and was paid for by contributions from Newmarket Town Council and councillor locality budget funding. The balance was met by West Suffolk Council capital renewal funding.

Town, district and county councillors Andy Drummond and Rachel Hood, said: “These laudable young people have tackled a monumental task over the last three years, thanks in part to being able to share their vision and commitment with local community leaders and groups.

“We have followed progress from the outset and are delighted to use our backing and locality budgets to such positive ends. This project benefits a much wider community than skatepark users and we hope they receive the recognition deserved.”

MORE: Campaign for skate park in memory of Ben Wragge ‘making progressJohn Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, and councillor Robert Everitt, West Suffolk Cabinet member for communities, said: “I congratulate these tenacious young people not only achieving their own ambitions but for regenerating this area for the wider community.

“Being physically active cannot be underestimated in current circumstances, and the additional lighting and security will, I hope, also encourage more people to walk or cycle into town.

“This is a big step forward in delivering what local people tell us they want and a shining example of how we can all work together to achieve ambitions that may not be possible as single organisations.”

For more information contact Will Wright, families and communities officer, on 07775801193 or email

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