Appeal for help to build a better skate park in Newhaven

Young people in Newhaven are calling for a refurbished skate park because they say the current one in Fort Road is dated and dangerous.

At a skate park competition held on Friday August 30 more than 50 people signed a banner to draw attention to the problem.

Newhaven skate competition

Newhaven skate competition

Skaters said they even travelled to The Level in Brighton to use the new skate park facility there instead.

Newhaven Community Development Association (NCDA) lead youth development worker Kay Watts said: “The atmosphere was enjoyed by most of the young people, however, a lot of the older young people were feeling very frustrated with the condition of the skate park.

“But they were equally pleased that a community event was held and was raising awareness of a campaign.

“Issues raised by the young people living locally and visitors to the skate park from surrounding towns include: it’s rusty, with rust holes on the ramps, the ramps lift up from the ground when you do tricks/jumps on the ramps, it’s dangerous and the ground on which the facility is on is all uneven.”

Newhaven skate competition

Newhaven skate competition

Pro BMX rider Jordan O’Kane, who attended the event, said: “This place is really bad and desperately needs sorting.”

A regular user of the skate park and a previous Newhaven Young People’s Forum member said: “It’s so depressing and boring skating here.

“We have no other local outdoor facility. We do visit Piddinghoe skate park in Peacehaven but that is designed for the younger age so our nearest place is Brighton at The Level, but we can’t always get there.”

Another young person said: “There’s no point campaigning as it’s Newhaven. We don’t get anything. We are just the forgotten lot.”

Newhaven Young People’s Forum were at the event with a big banner, which read ‘Please help us get a new skate park facility’ and the community were invited to sign it.

The young people said they would like a concrete skating area suitable for all, including a big bowl, half pipe, bigger ramps, a spine and height jumping boxes.

They called for the new skate park to be designed by the young people, with support from experts.

The estimated cost of refurbishing the facility was about £150,000.

The Forum is considering writing to local businesses to ask for donations.

The skate park competition was held as part of the closing ceremony for summer holiday activities at Fort Road Recreation Ground.

Newhaven Town Council funded NCDA Youth team, Wave Leisure, Nippers and Targeted Youth Support, to provide youth activities.

During the ceremony there was a free barbecue with burgers and sausages supplied by Sainsbury’s, music and a mud slide provided by NIPPERS.

About 60 Young people came from Newhaven, Seaford, Peacehaven and Lewes came to watch and support the competition.

A total of 25 young people entered the contest on scooters and BMXs.