Skatepark plan for village

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PLANS are underway to bring a skate park to a village amid calls for much-need youth provision.

The facility could be heading to Blackhall after a 1,200-name petition was handed to Monk Hesleden Parish Council bosses.

The petition has been passed to Blackhall Community Youth Project (BCYP), which was set up after Blackhall Youth Club closed last year to identify gaps in youth provision in Blackhall and Hesleden.

Durham County Council representative for Blackhall Rob Crute (pictured) met with the BCYP recently.

He said: “The main issue for discussion at the meeting was the provision of a skate park in the area.

“A petition requesting a skate park and signed by over 1,200 residents was handed recently to the clerk of Monk Hesleden Parish Council.

“This was then passed to the BCYP to ensure first of all that the signatories had the opportunity to put their case to the group, and also to enable the organisations involved to consider all options available.

“It was agreed by those present that the overall aim of the group would be to provide a skate park in the parish area if at all possible.”

The Labour councillor added that possible obstacles in the way of the skate park, including funding, land availability and public demand were acknowledged.

But he said: “There was a general agreement that all options would remain open at this stage.”

As a first step, to gauge public demand, the group will explore an opportunity to provide a temporary skate park in the area, perhaps over a full weekend this month or next.

Partners will also work together to ensure that funding is made available to provide transport for young people from the area to get to the skate park in Peterlee.

Coun Crute said: “Whatever is achieved in the future I am sure that it will be of considerable benefit to the young people in our area.

“I am impressed by the effort they have put into organising a campaign of this nature and feel that it must be rewarded.

“The BCYP, together with the wider community, will offer every support needed to ensure a positive outcome.

The group will meet again later this month to consider further options but in the meantime people can contact Coun Crute with their views, on (0191) 3725821 or email rob.crute@durham.gov.uk