10-year-old local skater Martha Eggleton

AMBITIOUS PLANS TO REJUVENATE FRESHWATER SKATE PARK UNVEILED

An ambitious scheme has been unveiled for a state-of-the-art skatepark in Freshwater — including the Island’s first pump track.

Freshwater Parish Council has committed £120,000 over 2 years towards the project at The Stroud, with hopes of raising the same again in grants, fundraising and sponsorship.

A public consultation drew an overwhelmingly positive response, with more than 70 emails of support and hundreds of social media messages and comments. Feedback from local skaters produced a wish list of what local riders want.

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With the current skatepark nearing the end of its life and repairs and upkeep costing more and more, the aim is for a long-lasting asset to the community with something for all riders and ages to enjoy. The plan is to build the pump track in the first year which will generate more interest and more funding for the skatepark in the following year.

Planning permission will soon be sought, after which the project will go out to tender.

Careful landscaping and planting will create a park suitable for family picnics and spectators, as well as skaters. Investment in the younger generation is seen as an investment in the community’s future.

The Council hopes the pump track will prove a great draw for West Wight tourism, as well as attracting Island-wide interest. The circuit of rollers, banked turns and features are designed to be ridden completely by riders ‘pumping’ — generating momentum by up-and-down body movements, instead of pedalling or pushing.

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The Parish Council is seeking grants, fundraising, sponsorship and advertising, aiming to match the parish funding; along with anyone who can help with the use of machinery and materials for the project.

10-year-old local skater Martha Eggleton said:

“The new park in Freshwater is going to be amazing. I’m super excited at the prospect of going in the bowl to practice for competitions”.

Donations towards the new park can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/freshwater-skatepark-pumptrack.

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Freshwater Skatepark t-shirts have been created in collaboration with the Teemill online clothing store. They can be purchased at https://freshwaterskatepark.teemill.com/.

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