Article by Chloe Chapman: A skate park which was forced to close after being targeted by vandals is set to undergo a major revamp.
Signs were put up around the facility at Lake Meadows, Billericay, nearly two months ago warning it was not safe to use, after yobs began tearing apart the ramps.
Gates around the skate park have now re-opened, but Billericay Town Council have been looking into refurbishment opportunities in the wake of the vandalism.
The authority has now announced it will replace the existing ramp with a new heavy-duty concrete structure, and install infra-red CCTV cameras.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Devlin"]This is an opportunity to invest in the youth of the town and to give a long term future to a much used facility. We are proud we have been able to find the money to do this necessary work. Once all the work has been completed, it is hoped that riders will be able to continue enjoying entertaining and productive sessions at Lake Meadows for a long time to come.[/quote]
Since undergoing a £30,000 revamp in 2011, the skate park has attracted BMX riders from across the country.
The unique design of the ramp, which has a plywood surface, allows them to learn new tricks and develop their skills easily.
Essex-based Radii Skatepark Repairs will lead the latest revamp.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Rob Steele"]There isn’t another public plywood facility of the same calibre anywhere north of the Thames. Many Essex riders would have to travel to Surrey or West Sussex to find a similar ramp. In light of recent vandalism, there was the very real possibility this ramp would go, but thanks to some intelligent and good people within the council the decision has been made to keep the ramp and bring it back up to scratch.[/quote]
An investigation into the spate of vandalism is ongoing, but those responsible have not yet been caught.
Article and image from The Echo, Chloe Chapman