A skatepark in Lymm has been branded “unusable” and dangerous by concerned residents.
The ramps in Ridgeway Grundy Park have been damaged by fire and are too tall for children to use.
A skateboard committee has now formed to help fundraise and campaign for a new, safer skatepark.
Lee Deavall, 48, has been skateboarding all his life.
He is the secretary of the skateboarding committee, Friends of Lymm Skatepark (F.O.L.S), who aim to create a safe space for children in Lymm to fall in love with skateboarding.
His daughter has taken up the sport too, which made him realise there was “nothing in Lymm” suitable.
The experienced skateboarder admitted even he would not go to the current skatepark.
He said: “The one that’s in the Ridgeway at the moment isn’t good enough.
“It’s too high, there’s tarmac in the middle where you would rip your knees, there’s a hole in it from a bonfire.
“It’s totally unusable.”
Iain Gurney, 46, is the chair of Friends of Lymm Skatepark, a lifelong skateboarder and a GB skateboarding coach.
He performed a health and safety and risk assessment on the Grundy Park skating facilities, and the report confirmed the area is not suitable for beginners.
Iain said: “You kind of drop in and are heading for a pothole, there’s some very uneven surface.”
At the moment, children in Lymm have to skate on dangerous roads and curbs, or trespass on land to find adequate places to skate.
Even more experienced Lymm skateboarders, such as 14-year-old Hal Seabrook, have found the current facilities unusable and unsafe.
Lee said the committee want to “try and get something for the kids and people in Lymm to use.”
Iain agreed, stating: “There’s a large community of children who want to get active.
“I think there is a real opportunity, now that Lymm’s got 12,000 residents, to put some improved facilities there.”
Lee told WarringtonLive he is worried that Lymm children are missing out: “We could potentially have a future Olympian in our midst, you just don’t know.
“But at the moment, there’s nowhere for them to go and practise, so we could be missing out.”
F.O.L.S want to completely transform the current park into a usable, safe and inclusive space for skateboarders, scooters, BMXs, mountain bikers, roller skaters and wheelchair users.
They produced a 22-page feasibility report explaining the pros and cons of the proposed skatepark, which was supported by the police, schools, local councillors, and teens representing the local skating community.
“The main aim of the skate park is for it to be used by from beginner to intermediate people,” Lee explained, “It needs to be such a way where you can ride on it and it’ll flow, so it’s usable.
“At the moment, you go down, do a trick at the end, come back again, then you have to run up the side again. Boring.
“We want something fun to use.
“What we say in the skateboarding community, it has to have ‘flow’ - your tricks need to flow from end-to-end.
“The skateboard designers and contractors we will get in to build it, they’ll be experts in designing ‘flow’.”
As well as ‘flow’, the proposed skatepark will have different heights for a range of skill levels, and a sprayed concrete surface to ensure safer falling.
The parish councils have offered their “full support” to the project, as have schools, such as Statham Primary School and Lymm High School.
A Change.org petition to put pressure on Warrington Borough Council and show public support for the project has accumulated nearly 800 signatures.
They are hoping to raise £25,000 for the project and have set up a non-profit organisation and GoFundMe.
The committee is also holding an official kick-off party on Saturday, November 27, to show this support and raise more funds for the new park.
From 1pm to 4pm, Iain will be holding a skateboarding workshop for the kids, which is already nearly sold-out, and there will be music, cakes, art sessions, and refreshments.
Iain also hopes the event will encourage conversation about the skatepark.
“The kick-off party is really to show the community,” Iain explained, “Although we now know there’s support, it’s to show them the kind of spirit, the culture and ethos.
“There’s been nothing but… complete positivity, overwhelming public support.
“It isn’t just about your traditional sports, like rugby, and football - there is a whole other type of community out there that wants to ride bikes, or scooters, or skate.
“Many other children… they still want to be active, still want to have space to play around and be creative and be kids.
“And [a skatepark] is the safest place for them to be.
“When I was a kid, you had to go in the streets, we skated on curbs and in public car parks, because this kind of stuff didn’t exist in my day.
“I really want to make sure that the kids get what I missed out on.”
Iain believes there will be hugely positive outcomes of this project: “It ticks all the boxes in terms of your mental well-being and anti-social behaviour will get reduced, because it gives teens who don’t follow the traditional sports a space to go and explore the creativity or activity in another way.”
Warrington Borough Council have now approved the plans in principle, flagging that funding is tight but have agreed to help find potential grants.
Warrington Borough Council have been contacted for a comment.