Bowled over by Calne skate park cash

This Is Wiltshire: At the cheque presentation, back row, from left, Helen Cotter (Community First), Linda Roberts (Calne town clerk), Steve Burns (grant manager) William Kay (youth worker), Councillor Howard Marshall, Christine Crisp and Jane Vaughan (both area board member At the cheque presentation, back row, from left, Helen Cotter (Community First), Linda Roberts (Calne town clerk), Steve Burns (grant manager) William Kay (youth worker), Councillor Howard Marshall, Christine Crisp and Jane Vaughan (both area board member

Youngsters who have been fundraising towards the re-development of Calne’s skate park saw their vision take a step forward after they were awarded £50,000.

The cash, from Hills Waste Solutions, was made via the Landfill Communities Fund.

It will be added to £53,000 from Calne Town Council, money from Calne Area Board, and £27,000 from a Section 106 agreement attached to the Station Road Housing development. Hills presented a cheque to youngsters at its materials recycling facility in Lower Compton on Friday.

It means they can begin to finalise designs for the skate park and building work could begin this summer. They have collected nearly £1,000 since October through events such as bag packing at Sainsbury’s and a dress down day at John Bentley School.

Jordan Hyde, 16, a student at John Bentley School, has been helping with fundraising and visited Hills for the cheque presentation along with 18-year-olds Tom Harries and Ian Summers.

Jordan said: “The skate park will be somewhere to chill with my mates. It will be good to get more kids enjoying the new space.”

The park, known as The Bowl, is already 20 years old and in need of repair as the concrete surface is cracked in several places. Last year planning permission for a £140,000 upgrade, to place a new skate bowl next to the existing one, was granted.

Town councillor Howard Marshall, who has been working with the youngsters, said as well as fundraising they had become part of the town’s community by attending area board meetings and taking part in the Christmas lantern parade.

He said: “They have shown other people in the town what youngsters can do with the right motivation. They are turning into model citizens who take an interest in local issues.”

William Kay, youth development co-ordinator for Calne, said: “To see the young people’s hard work realised through the construction of a new skate bowl this year is fantastic. The project has helped build relationships within the town and a successful outcome will help cement those for the future.

“The project is now in a position where we can begin the fun stuff and these guys can start to design. The next step is to make sure what we do build is the best it can be.”

Steve Burns, divisional director of Hills Waste Solutions, said: “Previous consultation with the young people had identified they needed a skate park in the town, and for Hills it is a real pleasure to see they have achieved this with our help.”

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