Uppingham’s new £75,000 skatepark is almost ready, but people have been urged to stay off until it is completely finished.
The concrete ramps are taking shape on Tod’s Piece and are due to be finished by the end of the month.
Uppingham Town Council, which led the project, hopes to hold an opening ceremony once the park has been tested by the initial consultation group. But councillors do not want to see the park spoiled before it is even finished.
Town clerk Neil Wedge said: “The final stage of the construction of the skate park is really critical.
“Some parts of the project look ready to skate, but it’s really important those locally that want to try it out wait until it has properly been inspected and passed for use.
“We are keen to let those who contributed to the ideas initially be the first to use it, we just don’t want it used before it’s been given the ‘green light’ in case any damage occurs that could delay matters even more.
“We appreciate that youngsters have been frustrated by the delays, but we are confident this project will deliver the best skate park in the county if not in the East Midlands. The wait will have been worthwhile.”
The skatepark has been funded by grants from Waste Recycling Environmental Limited, known as Wren, after hard work from previous town clerk Susan Awcock. The original plan, split into two parts, was to build the skatepark and then install outdoor fitness equipment next to it. The design of the park and chosen contractor was partly influenced by local skaters.
There were a number of issues during the construction process. Planned access to the site had to be changed by routing delivery vehicles through Wilkes Gardens and onto a temporary road in Tod’s Piece allotments. Bad weather in February put the initial groundwork back and further delays with the contractor Flo Skateparks meant time was lost in April and May.
Work is now progressing well, but the delays mean the plans for fitness equipment have now been put back and will become part of a new mini project to enhance the area around the sensory garden and playground next to the skatepark.
Mayor of Uppingham Dave Ainslie said: “The new skatepark is going to give some much improved facilities for the young people of Uppingham and although it has taken us longer than expected to complete, I am sure that when opened it will be much used and valued.”