Youngsters praise new skatepark in Deeping St James

Youngsters, parents, councillors and guests at the official opening of Woody Heights Skatepark in Deeping St James, by parish council chairman Andrew Bowell.  Photo (TIM WILSON): SG021217-151TW.
Youngsters, parents, councillors and guests at the official opening of Woody Heights Skatepark in Deeping St James, by parish council chairman Andrew Bowell. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG021217-151TW.
  • Ribbon cut ceremony after four-year project costing about £135,000
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Youngsters have christened a brand new £135,000 skatepark officially opened on Saturday as “our part of Deeping St James”.

Skateboarders, BMX and scooter riders turned out in force at Woody Heights Skatepark in the village, where parish council chairman Coun Andrew Bowell cut the ribbon to mark the end of a four-year project.

A lot of people enjoy using this place and although it was hard work to raise the money, it’s all paid off in the end

Sam Youngs (15), of Deeping St James

The concrete skatepark was funded by grants from Deeping St James United Charities, South Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire County Council’s Big Society Fund and a £50,000 contribution by WREN.

A not-for-profit organisation, WREN has been awarding grants for community, environmental and heritage projects in areas within 10 miles of a landfill site from its FCC Community Action Fund since 1997.

Sam Youngs (15), of Deeping St James, who helped organise a non-uniform day at The Deepings School two years ago in order to raise money for the skatepark, said: “We were in need of a new skatepark because what we had before were just metal ramps that were 10 years old and not very good.

“The fact that we’re managed to get this new skatepark is amazing and the adults were 100 per cent behind the project.

“Everybody was really happy when it was getting built because it’s a massive improvement on what was here before.

“A lot of people enjoy using this place and although it was hard work to raise the money, it’s all paid off in the end.”

The complex was built by Southampton-based firm Gravity Skateparks after a group of youngsters worked with parish councils to produce a design for the new play area.

Parish clerk Julie Fortnum said: “About half-a-dozen young people were involved from day one, providing input and coming to our engagement events and discussing the project with several different skatepark providers.

“We put money aside from the council tax precept and made grant enquiries for what was a £135,000 project.

“The neighbours think it’s wonderful because it’s quieter than the metal skate ramps that were there before and we’ve not had any negative comments about it.

“It has a 30-year life and we hope the youngsters will see it as theirs and look after it.”

Coun Karen Shinkins, chairman of Deeping St James Parish Council’s youth and communities committee, had special praise for villager Tom Hutchins (16), who won the council’s Making a Difference award in May for his hard work on the skatepark.

Tom said: “I wanted to put as much time as I could into the project and this is now our part of Deeping St James.”

Boost for playground

Wren donates £50,000 towards refurbishment of Woody Heights skatepark

Skate park work to start in September