AMBITIOUS plans for a £150,000 renovation of Mossley Park Skatepark are now in motion and gathering momentum.
Mossley Town Council is the latest to pledge money to the project after councillors voted to support the initiative with a £5,000 grant, subject to a formal application being submitted.
That money will be matched by Friends of Mossley Park and added to the £1,200 already in the kitty after a successful pitch at Mossley SOUP last year.
It means the dreams of the local skateboarding community, spearheaded by Louis Robinson, Aaron Turner and Lawrie Williams, are one step closer to becoming a reality.
They hope to raise about £50,000 which could then be matched by a few larger organisations and lottery grants to bring them to their grand total.
Setting out their plans before Mossley Town Council last month, Aaron said: “We looked at adding ramps and replacing the ones we’ve got but we found it would be a lot simpler to start again.
“We want to replace the existing metal ramps with concrete ones as they have a longer life-span and aren’t affected by the weather.
“When even the lightest rain comes it can make people fall on the jumps. It would be great to have something that will last 25 years and where people can skate safely.”
The plans involve extending the existing skatepark to provide three concrete ramps and improving the flow through the skatepark to allow safer use.
The result would be facilities of a competition standard which could be used for training sessions, events, demonstrations and open days.
Money would also be spent so senior skateboarders can become qualified trainers and help with sessions in the park.
Louis said: “We want to improve the facilities so they can be used by young people of all ages and abilities.”
Lawrie added: “We feel the skatepark has been neglected while other parts of Mossley Park have been updated and repaired.
“The community deserves better facilities.
“To get the funds at Mossley SOUP was great as it proved other people can see the potential in what we want to do.”
The project also aims to encouraging more young people to take up the sport of skateboarding, which will be included in the 2020 Olympics for the first time.
Paul Dowthwaite, from Friends of Mossley Park, said: “A significant number of skateboarders have been involved with the skatepark for over eight years and are now in their twenties.
“This has helped create a supportive community where the younger ones are looked after, where experience is shared and where a responsible attitude is taken to the use of the park.”