Village gets skatepark go-ahead

Newtongrange youngsters show their support for a new skatepark.

Newtongrange youngsters show their support for a new skatepark.

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A NEW £80,000 skatepark is to be built in Newtongrange thanks to a successful partnership between the council and the community.

The Welfare Park facility, which will also be suitable for bike, rollerblade and scooter enthusiasts, should be open by autumn 2013.

Around 300 local people signed a petition in favour of the skatepark. While young people also set up a dedicated Facebook page - ‘Make a new skatepark’ - to gather support.

James Chisholm (14), one of the young people who started the campaign, said: “This is brilliant news, and shows that young people can be listened to and get results if they put in some effort.”

Money for the park will come from a variety of sources including the council, Network Rail and the Dean Tavern Trust.

Community organisation Newtongrange Community 1st raised £16,000 while WREN is contributing £30,000.

Fiona Horne from the local group said: “We are delighted with this award and would like to express our thanks to all who have contributed to this development.

“Newtongrange will have a free, quality leisure facility that will be utilised for years to come by children and young people.”

Councillor Bob Constable, cabinet member with responsibility for parks, said: “It’s been a real community effort to help us get the project off the ground.

“Young people have been involved at key stages, from instigating the idea in the first place to gathering support, raising money and having a say in its design.

“Well done to everyone involved from council staff to local enthusiasts. It will be a real asset to Newtongrange and provide a safe, fun environment where young people can get fit and meet friends.”