Go-ahead for skate park after cash boost

An artist's impression of how the new park will look.
An artist's impression of how the new park will look.
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A run down bike park in Ripon will have a new lease of life as a state of the art venue for skateboarders, scooter riders and BMX cyclists after the award of grants totalling £100,000.

The two £50,000 grants awarded to community group Ripon Bike Park Project, which had already secured £86,901 of funding towards the scheme, will see a new custom designed concrete park replacing the existing facility at Ripon Community Leisure Centre on Dallamires Lane.

The cash boost has been given by WREN, a not for profit business that awards grants to community projects across the UK from funds donated by FCC Environment to the Landfill Communities Fund, and Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery.

Frances Fraser and Clare Thorpe, the chairman and vice-chairman of Ripon Bike Park Project, said “We are thrilled that WREN and Sport England can see the benefits of such a facility.

“We would like to thank the Ripon businesses who have made donations, provided raffle prizes and let us hold fundraising events in their premises, including the Golden Lion public house who donated £500 and also provided the food at our functions and raffle prizes, and the Ripon Rotary Club who presented us with a cheque for £300.”

The pair, who were awarded the Community Volunteer of The Year at the district volunteer Oscars in November, added: “Ripon has waited many years for a facility of this kind. It will benefit many young people giving them a diversionary activity and help to promote healthy sport in the city.

“We are so grateful to the young people who have worked so hard at fundraising, and their families and friends who have supported us at our events. Also thank you to all the people who will never use the skate park but thought it was a great thing for the young people of Ripon and made kind donations.”

The new concrete park, for which planning permission was granted last month, will be double the size of the existing facility and provide increased space for skateboarders, scooter riders, skaters and BMX cyclists in a safe location.

Before the latest grants were awarded, Ripon Bike Park Project had raised £6,000 for the scheme, with pledges from other groups made up of a £24,661 Armed Forces Covenant Grant, £5,240 from the Police and Crime Commissioner Community Grant Scheme, £31,000 from Harrogate Borough Council and £20,000 from Ripon City Council.

Patrick Kilburn, Harrogate Borough Council’s head of parks and environmental services, said: “Ripon Bike Park Project must be commended for their efforts.”

Skate park designer Wheelscape will start work in June with completion due in early September.