Plans progress for accessible skate park in town

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THE successful partnership between the Bridport Young Persons Action Trust (BYPAT) charity and Bridport Town Council is continuing as they embark on a new project.

Both groups re-developed the West Bay play area to make it accessible to people of all ages and abilities and they are now working together to achieve similar equality of access in other local recreational facilities, including the skate park.

They are working towards plans of incorporating an indoor skate facility with the outdoor one at Plottingham Playing Fields following The Trick Factory’s closure last year.

Arthur Woodgate, of BYPAT and chair of the skate park sub-committee, said: “In attempting to ensure equality, the skate park is likely to be our biggest challenge.

“Our aim of combining both the outdoor park with a new indoor venue for the very popular Trick Factory makes the challenge even greater – and all the more exciting.”

With lots of support for this project from young people and parents, meetings will soon be called to look at the practicalities of the proposed project, inevitably including how to fund it.

In the meantime, Mountjoy School has agreed to be one of the consultation groups, as they were with the West Bay play area.

A workshop involving West Dorset District Council’s mobile skatepark was recently held at the school, with more than 30 students of all ages taking part.

Sarah Davies, West Dorset District Council’s sports development officer, said: “This was the first visit with our skate park to Mountjoy School and it was fantastic to see all the young people using the ramps in so many ways.

“Some of them were a bit nervous to start with but once they saw that the ramps were quite low and that they had space to skate or scoot on the flat areas around the ramps, it seemed to encourage everyone to have a go.”

They were asked to come up with a quote to illustrate how they felt about the experience and, after some debate, said: “It was awesome and fun, we loved the skate park and we would do it all again.”

Members of the skate park committee were also involved, including parent representative Chris Scadding and son Morgan, one of the young people’s representatives, who was given permission to attend the workshop during school hours by the Sir John Colfox Academy, which fully supports this initiative.

A survey to assess the needs of younger children is being carried out at Bridport Primary School. For more information, email a.c.woodgate@btinternet.com or DChambers@bridport-tc.gov.uk

Bridport & Beaminster Reporter| Lottie is currently studying for an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism through a distance learning course and joined the paper in April 2014 on a freelance basis, becoming a staff reporter in January 2015. She is now the reporter for the View From Bridport and View From Beaminster papers.

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