By Jack Walker
Construction of a new skatepark in Horsforth is progressing well and is due to be ready for use by July 2020, according to a councillor for the area.
Councillor Jonathon Taylor, who represents the Horsforth and Rawdon ward, said that he was pleased with how the works were going and that he was looking forward to seeing the skatepark opened next year.
He said: “A new skatepark was first suggested a number of years ago, and planning permission was granted.
“Unfortunately, the original location proved to be quite unpopular and the scheme was essentially shelved.”
In 2017, Councillor Taylor and his colleagues, Councillor Jackie Shemilt and Councillor Dawn Collins decided to revive the project.
Councillor Taylor continued: “The old skatepark here was dangerous and coming to the end of its life.
“We wanted to provide something for young people in the area, and we think it will rival any other park in the city.”
The project has received around £200,000 of funding to date.
Iain Young, managing director of Concreate Skateparks Limited, the company overseeing the construction of the skatepark, commented that the building works were progressing well.
He said: “For the last week of work in December we are just about doing alright!
We are just getting started on the excavations, getting drainage in, and then when we come back after Christmas, we will be building a great new skatepark.”
Both Councillor Taylor and Mr Young commented on the community response to the project, which was “overwhelmingly positive” according to Councillor Taylor.
Mr Young said that around 80% of the people at public consultations had approved of the project. In 2016, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that a group of youths had set fire to the existing skatepark, causing significant damage.
However, Mr Young and Councillor Taylor are both confident that the new skatepark will be a community centre for young people and will not face the same kind of treatment as the previous park.
It is hoped that skateboarders and BMXers, regardless of age or ability, will flock to the park.