Louth’s skate park is finally due to open this week (Thursday) after more than a decade of hard work and fundraising - but youngsters are warned not to sneak in before the big day.
The £85,000 skate park, based next to the Meridian Leisure Centre in Wood Lane, has been surrounded by fencing and safety warning signs while essential construction work was carried out.
However, the fencing has been breached by over-enthusiastic youths on a few occasions in recent weeks.
John Andrews, chairman of the LouthXSports group behind the project, told The Leader: “It happened on a few odd occasions, and the (LouthXSports) group and the Meridian Leisure Centre staff have been there to explain to the youths the reasons behind them being asked to leave.
“The fencing was up because the park was not ‘signed off’, turfing had still to take, the installation of safety attachments to guard rails - all of which were raised in an on-site report which, once addressed, means we can then open the park.”
Mr Andrews explained that the youths were simply impatient and enthusiastic, rather than troublemakers.
Skateboarding gives a real sense of freedom and enjoyment.Kieran Campbell
He added, safety issues were calmly explained to the youths and they ‘fully understood’ the dangers once they had been told.
Mr Andrews said he was looking forward to the ‘final part of the jigsaw in the Meridian site’ being open to the public tomorrow.
He said: “Without the support of the Veolia Environmental Trust’s grant (worth £38,000), our partners East Lindsey District Council and the Magna Vitae Trust - and the support from local business and people - this project would not have got off the ground.”
He also thanked everyone who supported a recent race night at the My Father’s Moustache pub, helping raise £1,141.
Mr Andrews said: “Thanks to our Race Night sponsors: JWR Suspension, Lincolnshire Tyre & Exhaust Centre, Northcore (Extreme Cothing & Accessories), Premier Paintworks, Mark Swaby, Stuart Pickering, S.Wood and Pat Pickworth.
“Also thanks to local business and people as below for their generous raffle support, including R & Y Autos, Wonderland cafe, Annikas, Helal Indian, Bella Dog Grooming, Meridian Meats, Rogue Denim, Pippa at Damselfly, Eve & Ranshaws, Heidis Beauty, Jacksons Butchers, Manby Post Office, Peter Rhodes, Sharon Walker, Pat Pickworth, Gary Munson Williams, Lesley Harrison Wiseman and Dawn Blakey,
“Special thanks to Marcus & Gail for letting us host the event, and Marcus for cooking food on the night.
“Also thanks to Terry Ball & Rodney Underwood for been such brilliant hosts. Thanks from myself to the group members who rallied around friends to make it such a rewarding night.”
Mr Andrews added: “On a more sombre note, LouthXSports has had to deal with the passing of Stuart Pickering who in his own quirky and positive ways helped the group secure the much-needed further funding we needed for this project.
“Our hearts have a large hole in them now he has gone but Louth has seen yet another of his projects come to fruition through his dogged determination and diligent processing.”
He said the skate park was part of Stuart’s ‘wonderful legacy’ for Louth.
Mr Andrews also thanked Evolution Skateparks, Dales Sports, Wrights Fencing & GRS Signs for their ‘superb’ installation,
In his final message to keen young skaters and BMX riders of Louth, he said: “One word sums it up - enjoy!”
Local skateboarding enthusiast Kieran Campbell, 19, told The Leader he could not wait for the skate park to open.
Kieran said: “I am so excited. It’ll get younger generations together to do one thing, get along and off the street.
“Skateboarding gives a real sense of freedom and enjoyment.”