Council in talks over new skate park for Stevenage

DISCUSSIONS over building a skate plaza in Stevenage are progressing, with a projected date for completion of the park set for next year.

A STATE-OF-THE-ART skate park costing up to �1million is a step closer to being built in Stevenage.

MBA Skate Forum first came up with the concept more than two years ago, and forum member and owner of TNT skate shop in Stevenage Indoor Market Jim Breckenridge said: “We are now at the stage where, in principle, an agreement has been reached where the council will supply the land if we fulfil certain requests they have laid out.

“These include setting up a not-for-profit organisation to oversee the project. This will be our first goal.”

Other requirements include producing a business plan, and coming up with a suitable design for the park.

Mr Breckenridge firmly believes there is a need for a new skate park in Stevenage.

“The one at Bowes Lyon is very out-of-date, is falling apart, and isn’t big enough for all the people who skate now,” he said.

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“There is a need for a new one. It will stop people skating in the town centre. We just want somewhere to get the kids off the street, which is designed for what they want to do, so it’s safer for them and for the public.”

The forum aims to model the skate plaza on an existing one in Sweden, but on a grander scale.

“If you can imagine a really good town centre and take the shops out, it will be like that,” said Mr Breckenridge, “with bowls, steps and rails – not big ramps.

“They don’t look unpleasant,” he added.

There are already several companies interested in building the skate park, confirmed Mr Breckenridge, which will be suitable for skateboards, inline skates, and BMX bikes.

A spokesman for Stevenage Borough Council said: “We are in discussions over the possibility of lease of land for a skate park.”

Mr Breckenridge explained that a specific piece of land for the skate park cannot be earmarked until the business plan has been submitted, but a petition with more than 2,000 signatures previously given to the council requested it be built in Fairlands Valley Park.

Mr Breckenridge says a committee is currently being formed to take the skate park plans forward, and members are being sought.

“We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers of any age,” he said. “You will be required to attend meetings and be part of a team.”

An initial meeting was held on Tuesday, and the next meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 8.

To fund the park, the forum is hoping to raise money through events, is looking at grants from various bodies, and is asking businesses to come forward and sponsor the park.

Mr Breckenridge said if all goes according to plan, it is hoped the skate park will be built some time next year.

If you are interested in joining the committee or sponsoring the park, call Jim on 01438 230553 or 07950909613 or email him at mail@tnt-skate.com

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