Clevedon Skatepark shut over safety fears
- Credit: Kitty Wheeler-Shaw
Clevedon Skate Project said it is disappointed with the town council's decision to close the skate park at the start of the summer holidays.
Clevedon Town Council confirmed on Friday that the facility has been closed after failing a health and safety assessment.
A statement from the authority said: "We await a contractor's report to determine when the park can reopen and what the cost will be.
"However, this decision has been made for residents' safety and the council does not appreciate some visitors removing the warning tape and verbally abusing our officers at the site."
A trustee of Clevedon Skate Project, Petra Mansour, told the Times that the decision had left her 'devastated'.
She said: "The timing couldn’t be worse - right at the start of the summer holidays.
"Lockdown had already produced a surge in skateboarding, BMXing and rollerskating, with BMXing and skateboarding in the Olympics this week, increasing the profile of the sport even further.
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"We are devastated that the park has had to be closed, but agree with the council that it is not fit for purpose, which is exactly why we need to fundraise as quickly as possible to bring new facilities to Clevedon."
The Clevedon Skate Project has set up a fundraiser to build another skatepark along the town's seafront, which is estimated to cost £170,000. So far, £66,000 has been raised for the new skatepark.
In the meantime, Mrs Mansour hopes the current Clevedon Skatepark will not be closed for long.
She added: "Hopefully the issues can be resolved as soon as possible or within the next few days or weeks as during the summer holidays, there can be up to 200 skaters in the park on a single day.
"Embracing wheeled sports has been a lifeline to many people’s mental health since Covid-19 hit, just as cold-water swimming has been. We are therefore deeply concerned at the thought of this being taken away from people after what has been such a tough 18 months.
"The Skate Project, alongside Clevedon Town Council, will now face some tough decisions. Ideally, we do not want to throw thousands of pounds at patching up a skatepark that we are desperately trying to replace when that money could go towards the new one."
To donate towards Clevedon Skate Project's fundraiser, visit www.clevedonskateproject.com