End in sight for project

A LONG-AWAITED facility for young people in Ponteland could be completed before the end of the year.

The final amount of funding required for the skate park in Callerton Lane has been approved by the town council.

This is the second phase of Ponteland Community Partnership’s (PCP’s) project to provide fun equipment for children and teenagers. It was initially able to raise enough money for the play area section, which opened in 2009.

Members were close to bringing in the necessary funds for a big skate park, which would have cost more than £50,000, after being shortlisted in the North East section of ITV’s The People’s Millions competition in 2010, but it lost out at the final stage.

However, following the drawing-up of a modified, smaller scheme that will still provide a range of features, the PCP made successful grant applications and requests to a variety of sources.

The final section that had to be sorted was the fencing and path diversion works and at a recent meeting, Ponteland Town Council agreed to provide funds from contingencies to award the contract. As a result, the on-site works will begin in the near future.

In a report to councillors, Coun Robin Ramsay said: “For logistical reasons, the fencing and path diversion was removed from the previous contract with Clever Curves.

“In order to increase the area around the skate platforms, the path was diverted from the original proposal and fencing had to be provided to both sides of the path.

“In addition, the opportunity was taken to install a gate at the entrance and a noise barrier at the roadside of the skate park – the barrier was a planning condition from the county council.

“The current budget has a provision of £27,125 and this leaves a shortfall of £8,966. Part of this will be met by a further grant of £4,500, which will be forthcoming once the project is completed.

“It is proposed that we should meet the remaining £4,466 gap because this scheme has been so long delayed in achieving implementation. If the award letters are received in the next few days, the skate park should probably be completed by the end of the year.

“We appreciate the hard work undertaken by the PCP in planning and raising money for the skate park and note that members are endeavouring to raise extra funds which would reduce the shortfall.”

Under the new arrangements, Clever Curves will install the skate equipment and Dinnington Fencing will carry out the fencing and path diversion works.