Skate park for Chester-le-Street

WORK has started on a £100,000 skate for skateboard and BMX enthusiasts in Chester-le-Street.

The park is being built in the Riverside Park, close to the A167, and youngsters have been involved in designing the new facility.

Weather permitting, it should be ready in time for the half-term school holiday in February.

The needs of young people is one of the priorities of the Chester-le-Street Area Action Partnership.

It worked with Ride4Chester – the group formed by youngsters to campaign for a park and raise funds for it – and various other organisations.

Funding has come from Durham County Council, Ride4Chester, the town’s Rotary Club and the Positive Futures Initiative.

People involved in the project gathered at the site on Friday to officially cut the first sod.

County council chairman Linda Marshall, a councillor for the town, said: “This is a fantastic project which responds to what the young people of Chester-le-Street and the surrounding villages have asked us for.

“It’s a great example of how many groups can come together to make something happen.”

AAP co-ordinator Andrew Megginson said: “It is quite big, it is about 30 metres by 25 metres.

“I think it will be quite a challenging park and there will be things for all abilities.

“There will be stuff for novice skaters and BMX riders right through to experienced people so hopefully it will challenge all spectrums.

“In Chester-le-Street there has always been a core group of skaters who have been wanting to build something like this.

“The thing for me is amount of young people who have been involved in the design of the project. They actually picked the design they wanted.

“It wasn’t a council-led project in a way. We have delivered it and secured the funding for it, but Ride 4Chester have been involved in the design and fund-raising.”

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