Call for better skateboarding facilities in Ludlow

Momentum is building to improve BMX and skatepark facilities in a south Shropshire town following Team GB's stunning success at the Olympic Games.

Great Britain's Sky Brown
Great Britain's Sky Brown

But anyone harbouring hopes of an Olympic-standard construction of sweeping ramps and wall-of-death style slopes in Ludlow are set to be disappointed, a meeting heard.

Shropshire county councillor Andy Boddington revealed that discussions have started in the town on the possibility of bidding for money at very short notice.

"Skateboarding and BMX got such a wow from the young people, and that is something we're not so good at in Ludlow sometimes," said Councillor Boddington at a meeting of a town council committee.

He told the representational committee that discussions started in a pub and have spread to Facebook, where young people have been responding.

During the Olympics Team GB skateboard sensation Sky Brown became the country's youngest ever Olympic medallist when she scooped skateboarding bronze in Tokyo. Meanwhile in BMX Bethany Shriever struck gold and Kye Whyte silver as Britain's BMX stars dominated in Tokyo.

Councillor Boddington says he thinks money will be made available to improve facilities for the two disciplines, which did not receive funding in the run up to the games.

"BMX and skateboarding were the wows, they are unbelievable. They were the ones that were underfunded by the sports bodies and we expect there will be a push to create more facilities," he said.

"We need to be up and running – how do we bid for skateboarding? How do we bid for BMX?

"I don't know but we're finding the talent out there so if someone then says you've got six weeks to bid we can bid in six weeks."

Councillor Beverley Waite said the council's own skatepark in Wheeler Road could do with "improving" but it does have the space.

And Councillor Viv Parry agreed, saying that she had watched the Olympics, but Wheeler Road was "nothing like what we have" and it would have to be altered to bring it up to standard.

"It would have to be an awful lot of money and an awful lot of work put into it," she added.

Councillor Diane Lyle was quick to stamp on any Olympic ambitions.

"We're not trying to have anything that's Olympic standard. Wheeler Road is used. It is popular. It's in exactly the right place in the town.

"It attracts people and we should look at how to develop that but not making it Olympic standard. It's just getting young people, kids, parents to enjoy the space and be safe there."

Councillor Glenn Ginger, who was chairing the meeting, invited Councillor Boddington to present firmer plans to a future meeting, where the members could discuss the issue further.

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