Young people’s dreams of having a skate park in Middleton to practice their skating, scooter and BMX skills are soon to be realised, thanks to the support of a partnership of Councillors and local community organisations.
Weather permitting, the new skate park on land at Acre Road is due to be completed in early July.
Councillor Paul Truswell, who chairs the Middleton Youth Partnership that co-ordinated the project and raised the funding, said that young people had been involved in the project from start to finish.
He was joined at the site to check progress by four of the young people who have helped to plan the skate park and design signage for it, together with Advanced Youth Worker Allison Dixon, who has supported them through the process.
Kyle, Jack, TJ, and Kirsty said: “We can’t wait to be able to use the skate park. This is something that we’ve really been wanting for a long time in this area, rather than having to travel to other places.
“It’s great that we’ve been involved in the design and the final decision and that so much of what we asked for has been included.”
Councillor Truswell continued: “The whole project started about two years ago with initial surveys and consultations with young people through Middleton Community Group and the Council’s Youth Services Team. Those involved told us that a skate park was one of their top priorities.
“In this very tough financial climate raising the funds was a big ask. To meet the challenge I and my Ward colleagues, Councillor Judith Blake and Councillor Kim Groves, set up the Middleton Youth Partnership.
“The Partnership involves local community groups, schools, key organisations such as Health for All and Hunslet Club, the police, and Council officers from Parks and Countryside, Children’s and Youth Services. That gave us a really strong and credible base from which to bid for funds – but involving young people at every stage was the key ingredient when we were competing for funding.
“Once we’d raised the money, young people were involved in drawing up the design brief. When the tenders came in they had presentations from the contractors and made a recommendation to the Partnership about which design should be chosen. We followed their advice and because we were able to raise a little more than was initially assumed, we were able to incorporate even more of the features that the young people had requested.
“We are really grateful for the funding we’ve received from six different sources, and to the Council’s Parks and Countryside Department that is managing the project for us.
“We are hoping the skate park will be finished in time for the school holidays, but the laying of the specialised concrete surfacing can be affected by heavy rain, so we have to pray for some decent weather!”
Almost half of the funding for the project – £50,000 – came from Mondegreen, the organisation responsible for allocating money to local communities from Landfill Tax Credits. The project also received £25,000 from the Council’s Housing Leeds Environment Fund, £10,000 from the Inner South Housing Advisory Panel, £5,000 each from Jimbo’s Fund and Green Leeds, and £10,000 from Section 106 funding arising from the Asda development in Middleton.