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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

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Hexham: Park’s £30,000 revamp gets the seal of approval

HEXHAM’S rundown facilities for skate-boarding, roller-blading and BMX biking in the town’s park have been given a £30,000 facelift.

Sam Talbot (centre in yellow) from Northumberland County Council’s neighbourhood services team and Elliot Mann (third from right) together with other Sele users watch John-Luke Roe try out the new facilities.

Work has been carried out by Northumberland County Council on the Sele – and officers are confident the improvements will get the seal of approval.

For park users played a key role in deciding what was needed.

A group was formed and a team from the Hexham Youth Initiative worked with the council to develop designs for the new facilities.

Skatepark specialists Bendcrete were commissioned to do the work – and coincidentally one of their designers grew up in Hexham and had skated the park regularly for a number of years.

He was 23-year-old Adam Wright, who said: “I feel very lucky that the company I work for won the tender for this work.

“Hexham is my home park, so making sure we get good equipment means a lot to me and my friends.

“Working alongside the skaters from the Sele we developed our design and with the knowledge I have gained from working at Bendcrete I believe we have created an exciting new skate spot for Hexham.

“I am certain that the resulting facility is going to be enjoyed by skaters and bikers from Hexham as well as many other parts of Tynedale for many years to come.

“I look forward to getting some time off and travelling back up to skate the new park.”

Park users Elliot Mann, James Sinclair and Roland Buchannan got the wheels turning when Elliot wrote to Northumberland County Council in 2011.

Seventeen-year-old Elliot said: “We are all very pleased and grateful to have been a part of the project and that our views have been taken on board.

“The new skate park facility will support the Tyne Valley skateboard community for years to come.”

Funding for the £30,000 scheme has been provided by the council administered housing developers’ fund.

The scheme added new equipment and modified some of the existing ramps at the park to make them more useable for bikers and skaters keen to hone their air and ramp tricks.

The new features are constructed from concrete which is very durable and provides a smooth finish and easy maintenance, and is weatherproof and vandal resistant.

Head of highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council Andy Rutherford, said: “We are always looking to improve the range of activities available in parks and open spaces, working in partnership with user groups and strengthening our annual application for Green Flag status.

“We hope that these new skate park features will be enjoyed by young people for many years to come.”

Hexham Town Council is due to take over management of the skate-park site once the improvement project is completed.

Chairman of the town council's parks and amenities committee Coun. Cath Homer, said: “I am so pleased Hexham youngsters can now use this up-to-date skate park and I am looking forward to working towards having every play park the town council is responsible for in Hexham updated as well.”