CAMPAIGNERS are getting their skates on as a bid to build a new skate park in Newent hots up.
Plans are due to be submitted soon and Newent Town Council has already pledged its support to the idea.
Organiser Aaron Jones said his team have been fundraising since April to make the idea a reality.
He thinks they will need at least £150,000, some of which will come from fundraising activities. The bulk, he hopes however, will be stumped up in grant form from the likes of lottery schemes.
On Thursday night, dozens of youngsters are pledging their support to the initiative by doing a sponsored Halloween walk from the town’s Chill Out Zone to the top of May Hill.
Aaron, 37, said: “The support has been fantastic, we’re doing all sorts of fundraising things both to raise as much money as we can but also to show those who can award us grants just how serious we are about it.”
Another milestone should soon be met by the campaigners too, with the imminent submission of a formal planning application for the skate park, proposed for the Recreation Ground.
Aaron said: “The application’s almost ready, I’m just getting some quotes from kids in the town about how much it would mean to them to help beef it up a bit.
“The council has agreed it in principle and is encouraging us to get on with the fundraising to make sure it does happen.”
He said the park will be made up of a central concrete bowl, grind rails and a section of steps with ramps at either end.
It’s near a children’s play area and there’s an idea for that too.
“We’re thinking about asking for some little humps to be put into the play area so really young kids can use their scooters on those and not do anything unsafe in the actual skate park,” said Aaron. “It’s for everyone, we want everyone to be using it.”
Fundraising efforts for the project so far have included the summer’s Newload music festival and Aaron and his team are also offering to collect any household scrap metal which they sell on to boost the coffers too.
Penny Mail helps run the Chill Out Zone and Newent Youth Service. She said the skate park would be a massive boost to hundreds of youngsters.
“There are dozens of play areas throughout the town for very young children but absolutely nothing for the teenagers and they have nowhere to go,” she said.
“We did a survey on what they all thought of a skate park and 100 per cent of them wanted one, whether they would use it or not.
“They love using their skateboards and scooters but wherever they go, they’re always told to move on.”
The Newent Youth Service have also joined the efforts and are organising a midnight walk to May Hill on Halloween night. They will leave from the Chill Out Zone at 9pm and are encouraging more people to join them on the sponsored walk, led by activity company Yeehah Outdoor Pursuits.