Half-pipe dream becomes a reality.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Half-pipe dream becomes a reality. thumbnailWe’re not ‘board’ now say these young men who love the new skate park in Banbridge

AFTER years and years of waiting, skateboard enthusiasts have only a few more weeks left until the borough's first skate park is finished.

The Outlook visited Solitude Park last Friday (30 March) and found would-be users of the park who are 'wheelie' excited about the opening.

In fact, it is proving so popular that it is attracting the interest of young people from outside Banbridge.

"I am from Lurgan," one 20-year-old told us.

"I have been doing this for about four years. It keeps you out of trouble - I would rather be on a scooter than drinking," said the 20-year-old.

"It looks good, there are some parts that need graded but looks good," he added.

When it does open, it will be one of only three such outdoor skate parks in Northern Ireland and council expects it to be a popular leisure and recreational asset, given the high level of interest and strong support shown by the local community in bringing this project to fruition.

The young man who visited on Friday said he, along with his friends, would usually travel to the skate park in Belfast and intend staying closer to home in Banbridge in future when the park is officially opened.

The young man also welcomed the CCTV cameras that are set to be installed.

"There were some problems with bottles being thrown down at the skate park but I think they are installing cameras. And some lights would be good as well," he said.

Another skate park user, who lives outside Banbridge, said it is "well-needed" in the area.

"I think we have been waiting for 11 years for it in the town.

"I will certainly be using it on a regular basis.

"It is pretty good for skateboarding, there is a good flow with a ramp at each end but you will also get a few rollerbladers and BMXers using it as well.

"It is good to give the young ones something to do," he added.

Council hopes to officially open the park in the next few weeks.

"The completion and handover of the skate park in Banbridge is expected to take place in mid- April," confirmed an Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council spokesman.

Located next to the amphitheatre, the 490m2 facility consists of a variety of features such as raised banks and curbs, metal rails, a pocket corner and a wallie penny.

There are two levels with a pocket corner and curved bank at opposite ends. The higher central level has banks on the sides with London gap ledges and a wallie penny.

It will be able to accommodate a broad diversity of skaters, BMXers and inline skaters - e nabling advanced skaters to be challenged and beginners to develop their skills.

Built at a cost of £250,000, the facility has been designed by Spraoi Linn Ltd and manufactured by leading German company X-Move in conjunction with principal design and build contractor, McAvoy Construction (NI) Ltd.


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