Ripon MP supports bike and skate project

Ripon MP Julian Smith with Couns Mike Chambers and Stuart Martin, and members of the Ripon bike and skate park project.  (130427M3)
Ripon MP Julian Smith with Couns Mike Chambers and Stuart Martin, and members of the Ripon bike and skate park project. (130427M3)

Ripon MP Julian Smith has joined young skating fanatics outside the leisure centre to pledge his support for the city’s bike and skate park project.

Mr Smith met a taskforce of parents and teenagers at the old skate park, which sits at the back of the leisure centre on Dallamires Lane, on Saturday, April 27, to learn about their mission to build a new state-of-the-art skate and bike park complex.

“It was great to be able to join the parents and young people to hear more about the plans for the development of the bike and skate park in Ripon,” Mr Smith told the Gazette.

“We need to make sure we have the right facilities for young people in the city and I’m impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the group to this project.”

Mr Smith pledged to support the project in “whatever way” he can in the future.

Frances Fraser, whose 13-year-old son Morgan is a BMX fanatic along with several of his school friends, and has helped to spearhead the campaign with Ripon City Coun Stuart Martin, told the Gazette: “Mr Smith offered his support, which has given us a fresh sense of optimism.”

The group decided to rename the project last month to “include the skate park rather than just the bike park. Renovating the skate park is now our priority, with the possibility of building an extension for bikes in the future,” said Mrs Fraser, 41.

Following a meeting with Harrogate Borough Council last month, the project’s organisers are now setting their sights on getting the new park up and running by summer 2014.

Harrogate Borough Council and Ripon City Council have committed £20,000 each towards the new project, and the young skating enthusiasts have pledged to fundraise £110,000 towards its completion.

The estimated cost of designing and building the new park is £150,000.

The project’s organisers have already started their fundraising in earnest, after raising £695 at a race night on May 10 at The Golden Lion pub.

A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council said: “The council is working on tender documents for the rebuild of the skate park which will replace the current facility at its Ripon leisure centre on Dallamires Lane.”

Consultation on the design for the new facility will start at the Ripshock event at Ripon Youth Centre, Clotherholme Road on July 6.

For more information about the project and its upcoming events, email riponbikeproject@outlook.com