A heated debate about the future of Grantham Skatepark at an emergency meeting ended with a vow to raise the funds to build a brand new concrete facility for the town’s youngsters.
The skatepark committee, made up of parents, park-users and other volunteers, needs to raise at least £150,000 to create a hard-wearing, concrete structure. In the meantime, they are looking for donations and expertise to keep part of the current facility open during the next two years while the project is completed.
Tensions have been high in recent weeks at the Wyndham Park skatepark, formerly known as G-Zone, as older BMX bikers have accused younger scooter riders of damaging the ramps. The fall-outs have been reported in the Journal, as have appeals for both cash donations and help to repair the damage.
However, the skatepark was closed over safety concerns last week and following an inspection on Wednesday it was decided to keep the gates locked while equipment is dismantled. That which is in good condition can be salvaged and used to keep the half-pipe maintained and open to use.
Friday’s emergency meeting of the skatepark committee was riddled with arguments between BMX bikers and parents of younger children who ride scooters and say they are being bullied by the older users.
Pc Steve Cummings, founder of the original skatepark, chaired the meeting and struggled to bring it back to order. He warned those present that they must find a way to get along.
Also present was Ruth Copleston, of the Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service, who will help the committee in applying for grants. She told the rowdy group: “There’s people fighting and arguing and mud-slinging, and I can’t help you unless you sort this out, because no-one’s going to take you seriously.”
Warnings were heeded and a new committee and youth committee were set up.
Jenny Sutherland, treasurer and owner of the park’s Old Pavilion Tea Room, said the group should work together to keep the skatepark open to prevent “50 kids being kicked out into the street”.
Members are desperate for business sponsorship or donations from individuals to allow them to buy Skatelite boards, the material currently used to create the half pipe.
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