Call for help replacing Stamford skatepark grant

John Judge has donated �100 to the Stamford skatepark project to help make up a small shortfall in funding and is encouraging others to do the same.'Photo: MSMP020513-011ow
John Judge has donated �100 to the Stamford skatepark project to help make up a small shortfall in funding and is encouraging others to do the same.'Photo: MSMP020513-011ow
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A skatepark supporter has called on the community to help make up a funding shortfall after a council withdrew a £4,500 grant.

John Judge, 81, was disappointed to read in last week’s Mercury that South Kesteven District Council had decided not to extend the deadline for a communities grant offered to the Stamford skatepark project in 2011.

Plans to build a skatepark on the Recreation Ground were delayed while various issues were resolved but the park was eventually granted final planning approval by councillors in March.

But planners then told the skatepark committee the deadline for the grant had expired at the end of 2011 and the money had been spent elsewhere.

John, of Brooke Avenue, has been a skatepark committee member for five years. He decided to donate £100 to help make up the difference and has urged others to do the same.

He said: “A promise is a promise irrelevant of obstacles in the way.

“Money which was given and accepted in all good faith should have been honoured and ring-fenced.”

The committee raised £150,000 for the skatepark through grants and fundraising events, including £14,000 of ring-fenced money from Lincolnshire County Council.

But the project was delayed for months while the committee carried out acoustic surveys at the request of district council planning officers.

John said: “The councillors were extremely good and understanding when they approved the application.

“But the officers must have cost us about £8,000 with the additional things they wanted.

“I thought it was ridiculous because the council knew there would be hold-ups.

“I was particularly concerned because we thought that money was there but the council only came back to us recently to say we couldn’t have it.”

John said the committee still had just enough to build the skatepark but the surveys had eaten into the reserve and any unexpected costs could hold up the project.

He called on supporters to donate whatever they could to ensure there were no more delays, adding: “Hopefully people will support it and realise young people need the skatepark.”

Skatepark committee chairman Marc Stanier thanked John for his donation and said other people had come forward since last week’s article.

The committee also received a £2,000 donation from a resident living near the Recreation Ground. Music venue Mama Liz’s will hold two fundraising gigs on June 15 and 21 and have appealed for bands interested in playing to get in touch.

Contractors Simon Tee and Steve Rudkin have offered their services at a discounted rate to help install CCTV and Anglo Integrated Systems said it would waive its annual maintenance fee for the cameras.

Marc said: “We’ve had several promises of more donations and we’ve just got to figure out how best to allow the public to donate.

“The public’s response really has been extremely encouraging.”

If you would like to help the cause call Marc on 07739 040248.