Warwick skate park to be removed but council hopes 'exciting new facilities' will open next year
The skate park in St Nicholas Park in Warwick is set to be removed over the next week.
It is being removed due to items needing replacing and because the current skate park site is going to become the new site for the new 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts headquarters.
The removing of the skate park facilities from the park is only meant to be a temporary measure and there are plans to create a new skate park with a new BMX track on the site of the current BMX area.
It is hoped that new skating facilities will be able to open at some point next year.
The overall scheme, which included the plans for the new Sea Scouts' headquarters and the skate park relocation went before Warwick District Council's Executive Committee in February 2014. It was granted permission.
In 2017 The Courier shared a story about plans starting to come together for the new skate park in St Nicholas Park. At the time the Save Our Skatepark campaign, which had pushed to get new facilities at Victoria Park in Leamington, were also heading up the Warwick campaign.
As of April 2017 the campaigners were in the process of applying for grants as they estimated that the new skate park in Warwick could cost £300,000.
Now The Courier has been told that a different organisation has taken on the campaign for the skate park in St Nicholas Park. The Courier has so far been unable to get in touch with the new organisation.
Speaking about the removal of the Warwick skate park, a spokesperson from Warwick District Council said: "Warwick District Council is very pleased that after ten years of fundraising and in their 60th anniversary year that the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts will be starting building work on their new HQ in St Nicholas Park.
"The new facility will enable the group (which is run entirely by volunteers) to expand, giving even more of the district’s young people and children the opportunity to join and benefit from the many life-long skills and experiences on offer.
"Both the Council and the Sea Scouts are sorry that the building works will result in the temporary loss of the skate park and the impact this will have on the many users of the facility.
"We are currently working with a local skate group to facilitate funding and grants to create a much improved skate park on the site, along with a new BMX Cycle Cross Track.
"We very much hope that these exciting new skate and cycling facilities will be in place next year."
Viv Bosworth, chair, 2nd Warwick Sea scouts said: "We are really excited that we have now secured enough funds to begin the building of our new Scout HQ after so many years hard work.
"We are so grateful to the many community groups and funders who have enabled us to get to this stage.
"The HQ will allow more local youngsters to join our group and will be a great new community facility, and the addition of a much improved new skate park facility in 2020 alongside our HQ is fantastic news for St. Nicholas Park.’
However the removal of the skate park has also come under fire from the Friends of St Nicholas Park group.
Linda Bromley, on behalf of the Friends of St Nicholas Park, said: "The decision by Warwick District Council to close the skateboard park in St Nicholas Park is to be deplored.
"This facility is extremely popular with many local youngsters of all ages, as was the BMX track.
"With the demise of 30 youth centres in Warwickshire, including the one adjacent to our park, our local youth are left with precious few amenities to promote their health and wellbeing.
"It seems to be inordinate haste and surely the work could be suspended until funding for the new skateboard park is found?
"WDC have pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds into Warwick’s St Mary's Lands. It must be possible for District and County Councillors to find some money in their coffers, perhaps even 106 money from developers, for a new facility?"
The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts have been raising money for a number of years to help fund their ‘Building a Future’ project, which will help open up the group to more youngsters whilst supporting the local community.
In December His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent officially opened the Sea Scouts’ new jetties and boatyard – the first phase in the Sea Scouts group’s project.
The final phase of the ‘Building a Future’ project will involve building a new headquarters next to St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre which has a fundraising target of £650,000.
It is anticipated that work would start on the new headquarters in November.
For more information about the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts go to: https://www.2wk.org.uk/