Work starts on new skatepark in Higham Ferrers

Cllr George Whiting, Ryan Ward of Mick George & Cllr Glenn Harwood
Cllr George Whiting, Ryan Ward of Mick George & Cllr Glenn Harwood

Work has finally started on a new £70,000 skatepark for youngsters in Higham Ferrers.

The project was first suggested about three years ago by police after youths were using the Saffron Road car park in the town as a ramp.

Higham Ferrers Town Council has been working on the project ever since with grants totalling £70,000 from the Mick George Community Fund and East Northamptonshire Council’s Community Facilities Fund meaning it can now become a reality.

Town mayor George Whiting was delighted to perform the turf-cutting ceremony at the site at Saffron Road Recreation Ground today (Thursday) with representatives from Mick George as well as the district and town councils there to mark the milestone.

Cllr Whiting said: “It will be fantastic when it’s finished.

“The idea of a skatepark started off when my wife who was on the council was walking up Saffron Road and there were some children making their own ramps.

“She went up to them and said what are you doing, and they said can you get us one?

“So she got it in her head to do what she could to support the kids because they are the future of this place.

“It got the backing of the town council and we had some issues to overcome, but the police were very supportive of it.

“They realised that this was the best site for it and one of the reasons why is the area is already covered by CCTV so that wouldn’t be an additional cost.

“We have kept people informed of what’s going on, there’s been a lot of consultation and thanks to the excellent support of Mick George and East Northamptonshire Council we are where we are today.

“It will be absolutely fantastic.”

Cllr Whiting’s wife, Cllr Pam Whiting, has been working with pupils from The Ferrers School to get their ideas and feedback on what they wanted from the skatepark, and he added: “They have contributed a great deal.”

It is hoped the new skatepark will be finished, weather permitting, by early March and the town council is planning to arrange a date for an official opening later this year.

The skatepark is aimed at children aged 11 and upwards.