YOUTH facilities in Hawkesbury Upton are being ramped up with the launch of the village’s own skate park.
Just one year after a small group of parents launched a £50,000 fundraising campaign so they could provide older children with something to do, the Hawknest Skate Park is nearing completion.
The park, which features a 20x6metre practice area, is equipped with a huge half-pipe, flat ramp and stunt box and has been designed by professional skateboarder Marc Churchill, of 1SkateParks.
It is due to be finished and open to children in Hawkesbury in the next fortnight.
Father-of-two Mark Frankcom, a parish councillor and member of the fundraising committee, said: "The village carried out a parish plan survey seven years ago when one of the key outcomes was that young people wanted something for them as there was only a toddler play area.
"The catalyst was a few like-minded people who got together last year and thought 'Let’s get on with it.'"
The group won a NatWest internet video competition and won a bid for £23,000 of funding from the Cory Environmental Trust. It also received £3,000 from South Gloucestershire Council after youngsters Sam Frankcom, 12, Markus Baldwin and Will Novis, both 14, presented a bid to the authority’s area forum. Money has also been donated to the appeal by various national schemes as well as village groups including the local skittles league, a writers’ group and the Hawkesbury Buffalos order.
Added Mr Frankcom: "Young people are very important to the life of this village and we are very proud to have been able to do this in a year.
"It is only a little park, we are not expecting big crowds, it is just for the village but nevertheless it is a fantastic facility.
"We are very grateful to our providers and it is fantastic that our kids are going to get a nice little facility so quickly."
The park will open later this month and an official opening, featuring professional skateboarders, is expected to take place in late January.