A NEW skate park in Henley is a step closer to reality after a company was chosen to build the facility.
The Henley Skate Park Initiative selected Maverick Industries to design and construct the £250,000 project in Makins Recreation Ground.
The Dorset company, which was one of three bidders, is considered to be the country’s industry leader in spray concrete skate park development.
Colin Brathwaite, chairman of the initative, said: “This is a massive step forward for our project. We now have full council backing, a council-approved working group, a site, £78,000 in funding and the best supplier in the country. We are making big strides towards achieving our goal, which is a world-class free-to-use sports facility for Henley and the surrounding area.
“It’s important for local people to see that this project is clearly happening and this should help us raise money from families, businesses and the people who are going to use it.”
Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, a member of the skate park working group, said: “I’m really excited that this project is progressing and it will be a great facility for the young people of Henley.
“We should be providing facilities for people of all ages in the town.”
In November, the initiative received a pledge from Henley Town Council for a £75,000 grant towards the project.
It has re-applied to Sport England for a £50,000 grant after it was rejected in September due to a lack of matching funds.
It also plans to apply for funding from South Oxfordshire District Council’s community investment fund.
The initiative will receive proceeds from collections at next month’s Henley Youth Festival after being named its charity of the year. Mr Brathwaite said: “It’s a fantastic endorsement for us. It raises our profile even further, adds to our credibility, strengthens our connections with the community and schools and raises more money for a marvellous project.”
Sue Mitchener, a director at Maverick, said she was delighted to have been chosen to work with the initiative.
“It’s great to have an opportunity to work with a committed group of people on their journey towards bringing a project to reality. We see this as a landmark facility.”
She said designers Russ Holbert and Ian Jennings would be working with the initiative to develop the concept design and would draw ideas from skaters and riders who will use the facility.
The new skate park will be twice the size of the existing one, which the users say is dated, noisy and unsuitable.
In November, a half-pipe in the existing skate park was cordoned off by the town council die to safety fears after the ramp developed holes that could injure users.
A fence was erected and notices were put up around the equipment.
A public consultation on the design will be held in the town hall on February 1 from noon to 2pm.
The concept design will also be available in the YEUK skate shop, in Friday Street.