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EFFORTS STALLED: Taunton skate park update

EFFORTS STALLED: Taunton skate park update

Penny's Field On College Way, Image: LDRS

Efforts to secure a new skate park in Taunton have stalled – because the district council doesn’t have enough manpower to take it forward.

Taunton resident Jack Collins, 12, petitioned Somerset West and Taunton Council in December 2020, asking the local authority to create a new skate park on the Galmington Playing Fields near Musgrove Park Hospital.

The council promised to investigate the feasibility of creating a new skate park for the local area and report back by June 2021.

Nearly three months on from this deadline, the council has asked Comeytrowe Parish Council to take the project forward instead – because it does not have enough resources to pursue it.

Councillor Derek Perry, portfolio holder for sports, parks and leisure, gave an update in a report published before a full council meeting held at Oake Manor Golf Club on Tuesday evening (September 7).

Mr Perry said that his predecessor, Councillor Richard Lees, had investigated installing a small-scale “mini-ramp” similar to the existing facilities at the Hudson Way play area in the Staplegrove area of Taunton.

Quotations obtained in February put the cost of delivering such a facility at around £80,000, including VAT.

Mr Perry said it was more appropriate for Comeytrowe Parish Council to pursue the new skate park since it could more easily apply for grant funding from relevant bodies.

He said in his written report: “Funding opportunities exist with Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, Idverde and the National Lottery among others.

“These grants are most appropriately sourced through community groups such as the parish council. We [the district council] are ineligible to apply for some of these grants, and we have no applicable funds from developers for this project.

“There is very limited capacity and project management experience to bring this project forward, and there is limited community buy in to the project at this stage.

“The most appropriate route forward would be for the parish council to consider the possibility of siting a skate park on their land, such as Penny’s Field, and to make the applications for funding.”

 

Words: Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter


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