Campaign launched to build Church Stretton skate park

Momentum is building to have a skate park reinstated in a South Shropshire town.

Tom Rochester's campaign is being considered by the town council
Tom Rochester's campaign is being considered by the town council

A petition and fundraiser received more than 250 signatures and raised more than £1,000 over two days in support of the project in Church Stretton.

Launched by resident Tom Rochester, the campaign aims to raise £3,000, which would be used to transport and refurbish free equipment donated by Telford & Wrekin Council.

If backed by Church Stretton Town Council, the street-style skate park would include quarter pipes, a spine ramp, a rail and a jump box which were previously used in Woodside before plans were approved to replace them with a £100,000 concrete park.

Councillor Bob Welch, mayor of Church Stretton, said the main concern was transporting the equipment to the town park, next to the bowling green and croquet club, as well as ensuring funds were available for ongoing maintenance.

A deadline of October 12 has been set to collect the equipment from Telford.

Tom, 36, said: "We've budgeted for transportation costs in our £3,000 fundraiser. £2,000 of it covers the cost of resurfacing it, which is quite a chunk, but that should last between five-to-10 years, and I would suggest at a skate park in Church Stretton we're looking at the upper limit of that."

This would be the third time a community skate park has been built in the town.

"At some point the council has to do its job in supporting the community," said Tom. "If they're not going to build a skate park, we'll raise the money and even transport it here.

"About £45,000 is spent a year maintaining the town park so maintenance costs for these ramps would be minimal.

"Other skate parks here have been left to perish. I hope the difference now is that the council get on board and make it sustainable."

Councillor Welch is set to view the ramps in Telford this weekend.

He said: "We're looking at the expenses involved and there are varying estimates of what it would cost to transport.

"Clearly there will be a significant cost every few years to resurface it. It's a significant expenditure even with it being a free gift and it will therefore need a full council decision as to whether this can be a priority given the many other pressures on our budget.

"I've assured Tom the council will give it its full consideration. We appreciate a decision has to be made by October 12."

Tom's campaign has received support from Craven Arms-based business Britpart, which donated £500.

A similar project is currently ongoing in Welshpool to save and refurbish the town's skate park.

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