Consultation is opening on a new skate park for Elthorne Park.
Ealing Council is spending £200,000 on the skate park as part of the borough’s £1million Youth Fund that was created in 2008 to give young people more facilities.
The decision to install a borough wide skate park came after consultation with school students, which showed that a skate park was a priority for them. Further investigations then identified Elthorne Park as the most suitable location.
Councillor Phil Taylor, Cabinet Member for Customer and Community Services, said: “Currently, there are no facilities in the local area for skaters or BMX riders. We have listened to the needs of local young people and agreed to build a great skate park that will become an asset for the whole community, just like a football field or swimming pool."
“We are seeking the views of the community during the planning process so that we build a skate park that will be embraced by everyone. There are various options for design that address common concerns about skate parks such as noise, security and the visual impacts on the local area.
“Case studies of other areas have shown that with proper planning skate parks can be very successful in not only providing young people with a new sporting facility that encourages exercise, but also attracting visitors and hosting competitions.”
The decision by the council to build the skate park was welcomed by the members of the West Ealing Skate Park campaign, who have spent more than a year lobbying for a local facility.
Representative for the campaign, 13-year-old Duncan Brookfield, said: “Just like footballers and cricketers, we are serious about our sport too, it’s good exercise and we just want somewhere that’s safe to practise and compete.
“Elthorne Park would be good because it is central for many skaters and has good transport links, but we know that some people around there think we are just ‘hoodies’. They see us in parks and on footpaths, which we know is dangerous, but locally we don’t have anywhere else to skate. We need a skate park.”