Still work to be done on Uppingham skatepark

Uppingham Skatepark, which is almost finished. Photo: Neil Wedge EMN-151130-163314001
Uppingham Skatepark, which is almost finished. Photo: Neil Wedge EMN-151130-163314001

A council has once again urged youngsters who have been using a town’s new skatepark to wait until it is completely finished.

The £75,000 concrete park on Tod’s Piece is almost finished, but funding issues involving the contractor Flo Skateparks have led to delays with the final stage.

The council is considering its options and hopes to come up with a solution shortly. But town clerk Neil Wedge has issued a plea to the small number of skaters who have been breaking through the surrounding fence and using the park without permission.

He said: “We’d urge any local skaters to not use the site until it is ready and safe, but understand and share their frustrations at not having a fully open skate park.”

The options available to the council are to continue with the existing contractor or to find another company by tendering for the remaining work.

Mr Wedge said the immediate task for the council was to get an accurate picture of what is needed to ensure the finished park is fit for purpose.

He added: “To this end we have engaged some inspectors who are Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents approved to complete a report and recommendations. These will be used as guidelines with whoever sees the project through to completion.

“The council will then understand the exact nature of the additional spend required to get the park open, plus timescales.”

The council made a similar appeal to skaters not to use the unfinished park in July, but a minority are still ignoring the warnings.

The skatepark has been funded by grants from Waste Recycling Environmental Limited, known as Wren, after hard work from previous town clerk Susan Awcock. The original plan, split into two parts, was to build the skatepark and then install outdoor fitness equipment next to it. The design of the park and chosen contractor was partly influenced by local skaters.

There have been a number of issues during the construction process. Planned access to the site had to be changed by routing delivery vehicles through Wilkes Gardens and onto a temporary road in Tod’s Piece allotments. Bad weather in February put the initial groundwork back and further delays with the contractor meant time was lost in April and May. The delays mean the plans for fitness equipment have now been put back.