Skate park ready to roll

An artist's impression of how the new skate park will look.
An artist's impression of how the new skate park will look.

Work is set to begin on transforming Ripon’s run-down skate park into a high-quality venue for skateboarders, scooter riders and BMX cyclists.

Contractor Wheelscape expects to begin construction in about a fortnight, with the project set to last 12 weeks.

The work, which was originally due to begin in June, will cost more than £185,000, with a custom-designed concrete park being built at Ripon Leisure Centre, on Dallamires Lane.

Mayor of Ripon Coun Mick Stanley said: “This is good news for Ripon. It is likely that the skate park will be open for business in October.”

Fund raising for the park was spearheaded by the Ripon Bike Project, set up in spring 2013 and led by chairman Frances Fraser and vice-chairman Clare Thorpe.

They had already won £86,901 of funding when in May a further £100,000 was earmarked for the project – £50,000 from WREN, a not-for-profit business distributing grants from the Landfill Communities Fund, and Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund.

Speaking to the Gazette yesterday, Frances said: “We’re very, very pleased after all the hard work and hope building starts pretty soon.”

Also contributing £20,000 to the project was Ripon City Council and the Mayor said it was one of a number of projects it has funded, which have included £8,000 for the Tour de France, £1,000 for marking the anniversary of the First World War and a further £10,000 to support other organisations with strategic projects.

The council is expected to invest a total of £39,000 in 2014/15.

Coun Stanley said: “The city council is committed to invest in strategic projects similar to the skate park where our £20,000 brought in match funding of £20,000 from Harrogate Borough Council and was ‘seed corn’ funding to lever in a further £100,000 from outside sources.”

The Mayor said the city council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee now had the “difficult task” of deciding what other organisations to support, as there were £84,000 worth of applications for the remaining £10,000 funding available.