Lighting and security cameras have been installed at the newly opened skate park in Newmarket, marking completion of the three-year project, led by local young people and costing £190,000 in total.
The project, at George Lambton Playing Fields, to replace an end-of-life collection of steel and timber structures was initiated in 2017 and young people from Newmarket Academy began fundraising the following year.
After presenting their business case to Orbit, the youngsters secured £70,000 worth of finding towards the project.
They developed the bespoke design with their preferred contractor, Gravity Engineering Ltd, who completed the first phase, the free flowing all-in-one concrete space with a new bowl feature, at the end of August
The second phase, including new and upgraded lighting, security cameras and bins is now complete and will allow year-round use as well as improving a key section of the Yellow Brick Road pedestrian and cycle link between residential areas and the town centre.
Other sponsorship included £50,000 and project support from West Suffolk Council, £10,000 from Godolphin; £5,000 from Anglian Water, £5,000 from Newmarket Town Council, Suffolk County Council locality budget funding of £6,747 from Cllr Hood and £5000 from Cllr Drummond, and £6,555 locality budget funding in total from the six West Suffolk ward councillors Anderson, Drummond, Hood, Lay, Nobbs and Soons. The balance to meet the cost of the upgraded lighting and security was met by West Suffolk Council from a capital budget.
Fiona Butcher, Placemaking and Partnerships Manager at Orbit, said: “One of the most rewarding things about this project is that it has been the pupils who have driven its success from the start after they first approached Orbit with their ideas and requested funding for a new skate park because the old one was unfit for purpose.
“Since then, it has been a real collaborative approach and shows what a thriving community can achieve when it works together. I am so pleased that the skate park has been completed. Well done to all those involved, especially Newmarket’s young people who have shown drive, determination and teamwork throughout this process, it has been an absolute pleasure working with them.”