Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Skate park applies for £100,000 council grant

A GRANT of £100,000 is being sought for Henley’s new skate park.

A GRANT of £100,000 is being sought for Henley’s new skate park.

The Henley Skatepark Initiative has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council’s capital grants scheme for the money.

The volunteer group already has pledges of £75,000 from Henley Town Council and a further £5,000 from private donors.

The £250,000 skate park at Makins recreation ground will cater for skateboarders, BMX bikers and roller skaters. Planning permission was secured in March last year.

The park will measure 850sq m and will replace the existing one at the site off Greys Road, which measures 400sq m.

A decision on the funding application is expected in October after the initiative has given a presentation to the district council’s grants panel.

Colin Brathwaite, the group’s chairman, said: “We can only hope they will see how much hard work we have put into this project. We’ve done a huge amount of community consultation and proven a genuine need and demand in Henley for this.

“The grant is hugely important to us. The council has funded skate parks in Sonning Common and Thame so hopefully they’ll realise this is worthwhile.”

If the bid is successful, the group will apply for a second grant from another source.

Mr Brathwaite said: “We have something in mind but we think we’re more likely to succeed if we’ve got a pledge from the district council first. That second grant could make up a lot of the difference.”

He hoped that construction could start by next summer.

The new park will have obstacles made of concrete instead of the current hollow metal ones as they will be less noisy. They will be surrounded by a bank of earth and there will also be new trees, benches, bins and a water fountain.

Mr Brathwaite said: “Modern concrete skate parks can be used for decades without significant maintenance so they are a very cost-effective approach for increasing sports provision and improving youth development.”

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