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News Archive > General > Council to decide on skate park funds

Council to decide on skate park funds

By Warren Wilkins 27th September 2017

NEWQUAY Town Council is set to decide whether to release up to £200,000  from its reserve funds to ensure long-term plans to build a world class concrete skate park get underway in January.

The authority’s Finance and Policy Committee, along with its Footpaths and Open Spaces Committee, have recommended the money should be spent to construct a concrete facility at Wooden Waves in Trenance, which would take about nine months to complete.

Cllr Olly Monk, who has been spearheading the plans, had pledged no taxpayers’ money would be used towards the proposal but a less than expected Sport England grant has left the shortfall.

Town councillors now have to decide whether to dip into the town council’s reserves to build the proposed state-of-the-art £650,000 facility envisaged for the past 10 years or construct a smaller park due to the timescale in which the grant funding has to be used. The town council has secured various grants for the project including £225,000 of Section 106 money from developer’s contributions and £75,000 from Sport England.

The Finance and Policy Committee unanimously recommended to release up to £150,000 from the council’s localism earmark reserves towards the design and construction of the concrete skate park at its meeting on Monday night. The Footpaths Committee had previously recommended to contribute £46,000 from its skate park general reserves at a meeting on Thursday night.

Newquay Town Council is set to make a decision on the recommendations at its full councilmeeting on October 4.

Councillors hope to top the localism fund back up through a Government council tax support grant. There is also the possibility of selling the naming rights to the new concrete park to replenish the fund as well as set up a shop at the facility and launch a Crowdfunding appeal.

It is proposed CCTV, lighting and a boundary wall will be installed at the concrete park once further grants are obtained.

Cllr Monk said: “The Wooden Waves skate park was owned by Cornwall Council and there were moves to return it back to Newquay Town Council for ownership and redevelopment using grant funding.

“The scheme went out to European tender and four companies were whittled down to Maverick Skateparks. We applied for Section 106 money and received £225,000 and it was expected the remainder would come from Sport England, but the funding body was restructured.

“Instead of offering grants of up to £500,000, the maximum was reduced to £150,000. The funding pot was oversubscribed by 200% so we were lucky to receive the £75,000. To address the shortfall we looked at the budgets within the town council and there is £203,000 in the localism fund, which is built up from the underspend of all the budgets accrued over time.

“The fund was devolved from the skate park so it seems reasonable to use it. The funding pot can be recharged back up  within two years so there is no suggestion of raiding the piggy bank. Now is the time to decide what sort of concrete park we want to build as the Sport England grant is available for six months and the Section 106 money has to be used within two or three years and we are 18 months into that.

“We either support the project and build what we say we were going to build or construct a smaller facility. There is a massive public demand for the concrete skate park and the town is growing. The town council’s public consultation received more than 2,000 responses.”
Russ Holbert, the owner of Maverick Skateparks, which won the tender to build the concrete skate park, stated at the Finance and Policy meeting that Concrete Waves would be the best park in Britain. Russ said: “No one has come close to building a skate park around the country to the standard Newquay’s would be.

“It is a fact Vision Nine who run Boardmasters has signalled it would start up a skateboard competition again that used to be held at Wooden Waves. In addition clothing firm Vans stages a pro tour. I sit on the board for Skateboard England and a facility of this nature would sit very well with skateboarders we are working with for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There is no better time to build a facility like this.”

By Warren Wilkins 27th September 2017

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