Ripon skatepark dream becomes reality after project lands £100k grants

The Advertiser Series: PROJECT: An artist's impression of the new skatepark in Ripon. PROJECT: An artist's impression of the new skatepark in Ripon.

A LONG-HELD ambition to replace a crumbling skatepark will become reality after it secured £100,000 of grants and gained planning permission.

Skateboarders, scooter riders, skaters and BMX cyclists’ are set to see work on the new Ripon Bike Park Project facility at Dallamires Lane, Ripon, start in June after Sport England and landfill funds business WREN each awarded the scheme £50,000.

The decision to renovate the site was made due to the deteriorating condition of the existing skatepark, and the desire by the local community to have a park that was more challenging and suitable for a wider range of users.

After receiving strong support from residents at a public consultation in February, Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to approve the scheme.

Patrick Kilburn, Harrogate Borough Council’s head of parks and environmental services, said he aimed to create a safe environment where could socialise and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Skatepark builders Wheelscape said it aimed to complete the custom-designed concrete park, which is double the size of the existing skatepark, beside Ripon Community Leisure Centre by September.

Volunteers at the Ripon Bike Park Project have been working in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council, and Ripon City Council, which have committed £31,000 and £20,000 respectively towards its creation.

The project has raised £6,000 through events such as bag packing at Morrisons supermarket, race nights, a Christmas party and raffle and quiz nights, while the remaining funds for the cost of construction have been achieved through community grants including a £24,661 Armed Forces Covenant Grant and £5,240 from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Grant Scheme.

Leaders of the project thanked local firms and groups including Ripon Rotary Club and the Golden Lion pub for supporting the scheme.

Frances Fraser, chair of the project, said: “Ripon has waited many years for a facility of this kind.

“It will benefit many young people giving them a diversionary activity and helping to promote healthy sport in the city.

“We are so grateful to the young people who have worked so hard at fundraising, and their families and friends who have supported us at our events.”

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