Work starts on Lowestoft skatepark

It's just a building site at the moment, but the site of diggers and rubble at Lowestoft's Normanston Park is a site for sore eyes for youngsters across the area.

It's just a building site at the moment, but the sight of diggers and rubble at Lowestoft's Normanston Park is good news for youngsters across the area.

Work has started on a �181,500 skatepark after a long-running campaign to raise the funds and secure a suitable location in the town.

Weather permitting, the park will open in just 16 weeks' time and provide skateboarders, BMX riders and in-line skaters with somewhere to practise.

Yesterday, youngsters visited the site to see how their dreams are close to becoming reality thanks to a partnership set up by Waveney District Council, the Waveney Play Partnership, Waveney Norse and user group EAST (Extreme Adrenaline Sports Together).

Nigel Pinnick-Smith, a school teacher, skater and chairman of EAST, said: "We have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and were grateful for the opportunity to contribute to its design.

"Being involved at each stage means there is a real sense of ownership among users and we are all excited to see work starting on the site.

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"We will be popping back to check on how things are progressing throughout the summer and are looking forward to the autumn when we can actually use it for the first time."

EAST acted as community representative and led on design specification to ensure it met the needs of users with a range of abilities.

The project has been made possible by funding and support from the Big Lottery Fund, the Waste Recycling and Environmental Group, Suffolk Environmental Trust and Lowestoft Together, as well as the Lakeside Coffee Shop and Smash Skates.

Deanna Law, a district councillor and chairman of the Waveney Play Partnership, said: "A lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes to bring some fantastic ideas to fruition and it is great to see the project reach this stage.

"I'd like to thank all those who have supported the project. Everybody involved at all levels should be truly proud of their achievements."

Ward councillor Allyson Barron added: "It's absolutely fantastic and I think it is just what the youngsters need."