Hebden Bridge Skaters visit Scotland

Monday, 16 November 2009

Skaters from Hebden Bridge have been on a trip to Scotland as part of their ongoing project to extend the skate park in Calder Holme, Hebden Bridge.

They joined forces with a group of young people from Prestwich in Manchester, who are also aiming to get a skate park built in their area, to share ideas, experience different styles and types of skate park design and hopefully make some friends along the way. The two groups visited several concrete skate parks in Scotland including Kirkintilloch which is one of the newest, and Livingston which is the oldest skate park in the UK.

Kirkintilloch Skate Park is still under construction and Bendcrete, the company who also built Hebden Bridge’s existing skate park, were kind enough to allow the young people on site and to explain the processes involved in construction to them. The groups from Hebden Bridge and Prestwich also met the young people from Kirkintilloch who after six years of fund raising are now watching their park being built.

The trip was funded through the Youth Opportunities Fund and organised by the young people with help from Kim Blackburn from Calderdale Councils Young People’s Service and in partnership with Kerry Freeman from Bury Young People’s Service. Special thanks go to skaters Liam Gaunt and Bryn Falkner Walford for completing the grant application that made the trip possible.

Kim said “This was an excellent example of young people with a common interest coming together to improve facilities by influencing local decision making. It was brilliant to see young people from different backgrounds and areas working together.

So far the Hebden Bridge skaters have raised £25,000 from the Youth Capital Fund to contribute to the skate park extension and with the help of The Friends of Calder Holmes Park group and Hebden Royd Council two further bids for major funding have reached Stage 2 of their respective application processes. Hebden Royd’s Councillor Jones says the success of these two bids is integral to the achievement of the dreams of the youngsters to create a new, modern, enlarged skate park that will fulfil their needs for years to come.

Cllr Craig Whittaker, Cabinet Member for Children and Young Peoples said; “This is a great example of young people working hard to better their local community. I would like to thank all those involved with the project, both the young people and those who are assisting them with their design ideas and fund raising.”

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