Skate expectations as park is re-opened

Young people enjoy the recently revamped Desborough Skate Park when it opened on Saturday
Young people enjoy the recently revamped Desborough Skate Park when it opened on Saturday

A town’s skate park is back up and running after a group of dedicated volunteers brought it back to life.

Members of the community have given up their weekend mornings to revamp Desborough Skate Park, at the Hawthorns Leisure Centre, since November, with no funding sought from the council.

The group’s work was completed recently and dozens of people joined in the celebrations as the park re-opened in glorious sunshine on Saturday.

Volunteer Conor Smith, 14, of Loatland Street, Desborough, said: “It’s been hard giving up my Saturday lie-in each weekend but it’s been worth it.

“The park looks good and we’ve done a lot of work to it.

“It’s the only place a lot of teenagers can go to in the town.

“If we didn’t have it, a lot of us would be on the streets getting into trouble.”

The park was built after a Lottery windfall in 1999, but vandalism had left it in a poor state.

Kettering Council closed the park in October last year, but residents of the town took it upon themselves to get the area back open, repairing, revamping, and repainting the area every Saturday morning.

Belinda Humfrey, chairman of Desborough Youth Action Group, has helped co-ordinate the work at the park, and said: “It’s been an amazing few months and the park looks incredible.

“It’s been such an effort from everyone involved.”

Community groups in the town formed part of the festivities on Saturday, with a raffle, refreshments served and information tables pitched up at the park.

Naj Mistry, from Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs, said: “It’s special to see the park being used again and so many people are down here today.

“Some of the volunteers have included a vicar, a retired prison warden, parents and youngsters, and they’ve done a great job.”