New Skatepark In Soham Put To The Test

SOHAM’S new state of the art skatepark opened at the weekend with dozens of aspiring skaters and riders turning out to put the new facility to the test.

SOHAM’S new state of the art skatepark opened at the weekend with dozens of aspiring skaters and riders turning out to put the new facility to the test.

The park was officially opened on Saturday and was the culmination of months of planning and design work by Soham Town Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) and dozens of young people in the town.

In total, the town council spent more than �60,000 on creating the new facilities, with much of the money coming from grants.

The new park features several skate and bike ramps, grind rails, a BMX track and a ‘quarter-pipe’ ramp.

Cllr Anthea Davidson, chairman of ECDC, said: “The opening of the skatepark was a fantastic event. Everyone has worked very hard from across all agencies and the community to develop a park which gives children something exciting they want to do. The young people have had a huge say in how the park has been designed and developed - they should be very proud of what they have created.

“The new facilities are a great example of how local people of different interests and ages can come together to benefit the community. There is talk of parents getting involved and helping organise competitions in the near future and using the recreation area to a greater extent. Everyone should be rightly proud of what they have achieved and I know the enthusiasm I saw yesterday will continue in the months and years to come.”

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The launch of the skatepark also marked the beginning of a new scheme called ‘YouthSafe’ - developed specifically for the park by young people. The ‘YouthSafe’ scheme was set up at the skatepark to allow young people to gather with no interference by police or other agencies as long as users agreed to abide by a set of rules, which they helped create.

The new system and the skatepark itself has caused some controversy in the town in recent weeks however, with some residents angry at what they said was a lack of consultation by the town council. Residents were concerned that the plans for the siting of the skatepark were altered at short notice and were also worried that the area would become a beacon for anti-social behaviour.

Meetings were held between residents and the town council in the days prior to the opening of the park in a bid to iron out the difficulties.

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