Heaven is a half pipe

Amble Development Trust chairman Terry Broughton with other guests at the opening of Amble Skate Park.
Amble Development Trust chairman Terry Broughton with other guests at the opening of Amble Skate Park.

THESE were the joyous scenes as a north Northumberland community celebrated the official opening of its new skate park.

With an array of ramps, jumps, grind boxes and social areas, Amble has got a facility that it can be proud of.

.Amble Skate Park.'Jack Gair, 12.

.Amble Skate Park.'Jack Gair, 12.

And it was thanks to a dedicated group of youngsters who helped bring the project to fruition.

The team, made up of keen skaters and known as ACES (Amble Community Extreme Sports) Park, worked with the Coquet Youth Team and Amble Development Trust to bring the new skate park to the Welfare, sparked by the removal of the previous one in 2007.

And last month, following years of campaigning, consulting, fund-raising and planning, their efforts were rewarded when the facility was officially opened – much to the delight of those who will use it.

Keen skater Jack Lewis Gair, 12, said: “The park is great. It is amazing for Amble. I will be here everyday during the summer holidays.

“Before it opened, I had to skate in the streets, but now it is open I have got somewhere to go to skate.”

As part of the skate park bid, ACES Park asked others about what they would like to see in the new facility and they visited other skate parks.

The scheme also secured an £80,000 grant from the now-defunct Alnwick District Council in 2009, followed by nearly £100,000 of funding a year later from the Big Lottery Fund.

Teenager Christian Harvey, chairman of ACES Park, said it was great to finally see the park open and described the new facility as ‘brilliant’.

“It is such a relief in a way really that it is open.

“It is good to see that four years of hard work has resulted in something,” said the 19-year-old, who is used to go to the town’s Coquet High School, which is now James Calvert Spence College – Acklington Road.

“There have been people coming to use it from Shilbottle, Alnwick, even from Newcastle.”

But Christian, who is currently studying at Northumbria University, added: “We need the young people to put as much effort in as we did. We need people to get involved, keep it tidy and look after it.”

Angela Manktelow, from the Coquet Youth Team, worked with the youngsters throughout and praised them for their efforts and the work between the different groups.

“It is a fantastic facility, she said. “It is a result of a purity of focus by those who worked together to bring the skate park to fruition.”