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23/06/2014 - Skatepark receives £25,000 grant from The Veolia Environmental Trust

The campaign to raise £100,000 for a new skatepark in Skipton's Aireville Park has received a great boost with a £25,000 donation from The Veolia Environmental Trust. To qualify for the funding, Craven District Council has raised its contribution from £25,000 to £37,500 It brings the total of funds raised to £62,000.

The Skatepark was closed following a routine health and safety inspection by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on behalf of Craven District Council. Craven District Council has now taken steps to remove it, as it is not possible to make it health and safety compliant using the existing equipment and layout.

Councillor Carl Lis, Lead Member for Working with Communities says: "The existing skatepark is not fit for purpose and this causes young people to skate in other parts of town. These improvements will provide a dedicated space where young people can practise wheeled sports without disturbing other members of the community. This grant brings us one step closer to going ahead with the project."

A spokesperson from Save Skipton Skatepark says: "This is great news for our campaign. We are confident that we will reach our goal. The new skatepark will be a great asset for the community and I'm thankful to everyone for getting behind us."

The grant was awarded at The Veolia Environmental Trusts' Board meeting on 9 June 2014. The Trust, established in 1997 under the Landfill Communities Fund, supports a wide range of community and environmental projects throughout the UK. To qualify for the grant, the local authority is required to fund 50% of the remaining cost. Therefore the Council is allocating an additional £12,500 to the project from its Section 106 fund, which is a fund through which real estate developers contribute for community based projects.

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, says: "We are pleased to be able to support this important project. Facilities like this one encourage young people to socialise and enjoy outdoor exercise, and it is one of our priorities to help projects that bring them up to modern standards. I look forward to seeing the improvements take shape."

Craven District Council has worked with skatepark users to design a new skatepark as part of a tender competition and the preferred designs will cost between £50,000 and £100,000. Which design will ultimately be chosen, depends on the amount of funds that can be raised.

In addition to this latest grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust and the contribution from Craven District Council towards the project, the Save Skipton Skatepark Campaign (SSSC) campaign group, which is part of Craven Youth Council, has also raised money through Craven Dragons Den and fundraising events such as a car wash and café. In addition, it has applied for funding through various organisations, including Sport England, and is awaiting decisions on these applications