Extended North Shields skate park set to open

A group of young BMX riders were on hand to mark the start of work to enhance the skate park, joined by North Tyneside Council's Deputy Mayor Coun Bruce Pickard (front, centre), Riverside ward councillor Coun Wendy Lott, Mike Burgess from Phoenix Detached Youth Project (back row, second from right), and Andy Prior, Kier North Tyneside (back row, far left).
A group of young BMX riders were on hand to mark the start of work to enhance the skate park, joined by North Tyneside Council's Deputy Mayor Coun Bruce Pickard (front, centre), Riverside ward councillor Coun Wendy Lott, Mike Burgess from Phoenix Detached Youth Project (back row, second from right), and Andy Prior, Kier North Tyneside (back row, far left).

Daredevils are being encouraged to try out a newly extended skate park in North Shields.

The extended facility is due to open this month thanks to idea from a group of young people who work with local charity Phoenix Detached Youth Project.

After visiting a skate park in Scotland, which featured more challenging and advanced ramps, the youngsters asked North Tyneside Council if they could have something similar at the authority-owned site at the Parks Sports Centre.

Council officials helped the youngsters apply for £50,000 of funding from SUEZ Communities Trust, as well as also contributing to the project.

North Tyneside Deputy Mayor, Coun Bruce Pickard said: “We thought the designs looked fantastic and the enthusiasm shown by the young people was great to see.

“It’s wonderful that they want to help improve their local area while also keeping healthy and active. I know the revamped facility will be welcomed by the local community and enjoyed by many.

“I’d like to thank all of the young people involved – as well as Phoenix Detached Youth Project and Suez Communities Trust – we thoroughly enjoyed working with them and supporting them on the project.”

The revamped and extended facility include a more advanced bowl for riders to progress onto. An official opening event will take place on Saturday, April 14, from 1pm to 4pm, and the young people involved are encouraging people to attend.

The afternoon will include an open session for anyone who’s interested in trying out the facility, as well as live music and giveaways from Phoenix Detached Youth Project.

Ryan Wright, 18, said: “I have been involved in the skate park project since the beginning and was part of the first scooter group, ‘The NE29’ers’, to go to Unit 23.

“When Phoenix Detached Youth Project said it would help us try to get it built we didn’t believe it possible.

“It was amazing presenting to the Mayor, and working with the other BMX and scooterers and helping to develop the design. I’m still amazed it’s happening.”

Youth worker Luke Johnston, from Phoenix Detached Youth Project, added: “When we started working on this project in 2014 we didn’t know what it had in store for everyone.

“It has been amazing to work with such a dedicated and passionate group of young people, and seeing their passion and ideas turn into a reality has been exciting for us.

“We would like to say a big well done to all the young people for their effort and also a thank you to North Tyneside Council and Suez for supporting the project.”

Speaking about the funding, Marek Gordon, chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust, added: “SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Landfill Communities Fund.

“This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.4billion.

“We were delighted to be able to offer this funding.”

The work has been carried out by Kier North Tyneside on behalf of the council.