YOUNGSTERS have fulfilled a long-standing ambition to build a new piece of equipment at Norton skatepark thanks to a £5,000 grant fromNorth Yorkshire Police.
The Skate Park User Group, which is made up of the young people who use the park. supported by local police and Norton and Malton Town Council, secured the funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund.
Members have also taken part in their own fundraising activities, including running a 24-hour ‘skateathon’, to help buy the new piece of equipment.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “This project is an excellent example of how the Community Fund is making a difference in communities across North Yorkshire.
“I’ve been really impressed with the support this park receives from the local community and its popularity. By developing the park yet further, skateboarders are more likely to practise their hobby in a safe, dedicated facility rather than on our busy town-centre roads and pedestrian areas.
She added: “Experience also shows that, where there are diversionary activities available for young people, there are lower reported levels of antisocial behaviour. So everybody benefits.”
Built 10 years ago, Norton skatepark boasts the largest outdoor ‘half-pipe’ in the country.
The town's Beat Manager, Pc Nick Coning, who helped the young people put together the bid for Norton Skate Park, said: “The Skate Park in Norton is a vital asset to our communities and is extensively used by local youths, with up to 60 skateboarders using the facility at any one time. The older kids help the younger ones and there’s a fantastic atmosphere.
“Without the support from the Community Fund, the new ramp would still just be an ambition."
Grants of between £500 and £20,000 are available from the community fund for new projects led by people who are based or operating within North Yorkshire and the city of York. To find out more, go to northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk