Skatepark project takes giant leap forward

A PONTELAND organisation is jumping for joy after it cleared the major hurdle for its skatepark project.

Hundreds of people have been crying out for such a facility over many years and once a children’s play park was opened off Callerton Lane, the youth sub-group of the Ponteland Community Project (PCP) focused its efforts on making it happen.

And now it has secured the amount required – more than £32,000 – after grants from Banks Community Fund and the Northumberland Community Chest, as well as funding from the four county councillors who cover Ponteland, was added to the original sums it raised.

A contractor to build the skatepark is already in place. Its design is for a mini spine ramp with twin height capability and a volcano feature for use by children over 13 years of age.

A planning application will be submitted in the near future and the necessary land transfer agreement is in hand.

The PCP had to go back to the drawing board as it almost won £50,000 in the North East section of ITV’s The People’s Millions competition in the winter of 2010, however it lost out at the final stage.

Matthew Gray, one of the youth sub-group members, said: “We’re absolutely delighted and thrilled to have secured the money for the skatepark.

“There were disappointments along the way, but we were determined to see it through and it’s fantastic that we’ve got over the main stumbling block to reach the final stage of the project.

“Generations of young people have called for it to be built and I remember being pictured in the Ponteland Observer in 1982 as part of a group asking for a skatepark, so for me it has been 30 years in the making.

“After the People’s Millions setback we decided that it would be unwise to keep trying for the most expensive option, especially as the price kept going up each year, but we were confident that we could still raise enough money to build a high-quality facility that we think will be well-used by local teenagers.”