Top rapper backs skate park plans

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A MULTI-PLATINUM selling rapper swapped his studio for his skateboard to drum up support for a new Hartlepool skate park.

Fazer, who is known as being part of former hip-hop group N-Dubz who have two platinum-selling albums and various MOBO awards to their name, is about to embark on a solo career.

But he put thoughts of music to the back of his mind yesterday as he made the trip up north to an area in Clavering which is set to be regenerated as part of an ambitious community-led scheme.

Clavering Activity Zone and Skate Spot has been chosen as one of 165 sites in the UK to benefit from the Transform Your Patch scheme, a project which is hoping to create outdoor spaces for people to enjoy.

And, speaking to the Mail, Fazer said the skate park would prove to be a huge boost for youngsters in the local area.

“Coming from where I come from, in Camden Town, I remember when I used to hang around on street corners with nothing to do on a night,” he said.

“For the kids to be able to come and hang out here would be great.

“It gives them something to do but their parents will also know where they are which will put their minds at rest.

“For me this feels like a chance to give something back to the community.”

Local residents and youngsters who support the prospect of a new skate park were on hand at the site, opposite the Saxon pub, in the Clavering area of Hartlepool yesterday.

Lewis Linton, 17, a student at Hartlepool Sixth Form College who lives in Tavistock Close, near to the site, said: “All the kids round here don’t have anywhere to go so they all just hang around outside shops.

“I think this is a great idea, it would be brilliant to see it go ahead.”

For Fazer meanwhile, yesterday was the first time he has ever visited Hartlepool, and as well as spending time at the site in Clavering he also took the time to have a walk around the town centre.

“I have never been to Hartlepool before now,” he said.

“I had a walk round, it’s good to have a look round when you haven’t been somewhere before.”

The Transform Your Patch scheme to invest in a skate park in Clavering, which is still in its early stages, is backed by Groundwork North East, Hartlepool Borough Council, North Linear Park Steering Group and Clavering Residents’ Association.

Hartlepool residents now have the chance to vote for the site to get a “super level” of transformation, on top of the planned investment.

One of the chosen spots in each region will receive the extra funding boost.

To vote for Clavering Activity Zone and Skate spot to receive the super level of transformation visit www.transformyourpatch.com.