Work on a £110,000 skate park will finally get underway this summer – after years in the planning.
The facility at Monks Neil Park in Chell Heath is being funded by the National Lottery as part of the Stoke North Big Local (SNBL) project.
Cabinet members at Stoke-on-Trent City Council have now agreed to lease the land for the facility to the YMCA, which is one of the partners involved in the SNBL, at a peppercorn rent for 25 years.
Once the skate park is built, the YMCA will be responsible for maintaining and insuring it for the duration of the lease.
SNBL, which is made up of residents and voluntary groups, was awarded £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund for a series of projects aimed at improving life in Fegg Hayes, Great Chell and Chell Heath.
Consultation with local schoolchildren in Chell Heath was first carried out in 2015, which resulted in the plans for the skate park being developed.
Cabinet members welcomed the fact that the scheme was now finally going ahead.
Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment, said: “This project has been the subject of discussions for some time. I’d like to thank officers for working on this along with the Stoke North Big Local organisation who have secured the funding for the skate park in conjunction with the YMCA.
“The ‘i’s have been dotted, the ‘t’s have been crossed, and we’re now in position to agree a 25-year lease for the site. SNBL and the YMCA are going to look after the site for the next 25 years.
“From the artist’s impression, it looks absolutely fantastic and I’m sure that the young people of that area will absolutely love it. I look forward to seeing spades in the ground.”
Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education, added: “I’m very excited about this. It’s been a long time in coming. The original consultation was in 2015 with the children in the local schools, and now those children have actually left school – that’s how long it’s been in coming.
“The sticking point was over the maintenance of the skate park. It is testament to this administration and the way it has fixed links with our partners that the YMCA agreed to come in and maintain the facility. It’s great partnership working.”
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Danny Flynn, chief executive at YMCA North Staffordshire, welcomed the decision.
He said: “This is all part of Stoke North Big Local, which is a Lottery-funded project working with three communities in the north of Stoke-on-Trent. We asked the young people of Chell Heath what they wanted to see in their community, and they said they wanted a skate board park.
“This will be a great facility for the young people in the area. The more funding we can bring to Stoke-on-Trent for things like this the better.”