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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Sheerness Enhancement Association for Leisure claims Swale council favours Sittingbourne for skate park funding

01 March 2014
by Lewis Dyson

The Sheerness Enhancement Association for Leisure (SEAL) is seeking up to £200,000 for the development which is planned for the site of an existing sports facility Beachfields, Sheerness.

Last year the borough council agreed to contribute £30,000 towards a skate park off Mill Way, Sittingbourne.

 

Kyle Chan and Jordan Blackburn (in baseball cap) during the filming of a promotional video for the proposed Sheerness skate park

Kyle Chan and Jordan Blackburn (in baseball cap) during the filming of a promotional video for the proposed Sheerness skate park

Members of SEAL submitted a written question to Swale asking if members would consider providing equal financial support to the Sheerness project.

The response came from cabinet member for Localism, Mike Whiting, who said: “The regeneration of Sittingbourne Town Centre is a priority for this council and plans for new development continue to progress positively.

“The aspiration is to create a diverse offer to our residents, which includes leisure activity, and the council agreed to support Sitttingbourne skate park project in order that a borough-wide leisure facility with regional appeal could be provided to attract visitors to the town.”

He went on to say that the council contributed £40,000 towards a redevelopment of Beachfields in 2002.

He added: “With regard to further financial support, in times where local government finances are squeezed local councils have to prioritise towards their strategic priorities.”

Skaters Kyle Chan and Jordan Blackburn hope to encourage funding for a better skate park

Skaters Kyle Chan and Jordan Blackburn hope to encourage funding for a better skate park

He suggested SEAL applies for grants externally or to Kent County Council members.

SEAL chairman Chris Foulds said he received the answer to the question too late to prepare a supplementary response at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

He said: “I don’t feel that this matter is closed and I think it needs to be taken up further.

“I think most of the community are behind us. Maybe this is proof that Sheppey is always low priority.”

He said the £40,000 the council gave in 2002 did not go solely to the skate park but the surrounding area as well, including the sand pit.

A skater in action

A skater in action

He added the issue was about “fairness” and said SEAL would also be applying for grants from national organisations.

Filming for a promotional video for the Sheerness skate park took place on Saturday in Beachfields, Sheerness.

Members of SEAL were interviewed about the project and young people were filmed performing tricks on the existing facilities.

Professional BMX rider Robert Steele, who has given advice on the design of the proposed development, was also there on the day to lend his support.

Another person who is yet to be interviewed for the video will be Ray Featherstone, senior youth worker at Sheerness County Youth Centre, who is credited with guiding the young people who started the idea for the project in 2008.

SEAL chairman Chris Foulds said: “It was fantastic weather for it. A really good crowd turned up.

“They showed the condition of the ramp and it is really past its sell by date.

“It’s important that the youngsters get the chance to have their say.

“We’re at a stage now where all we can do is get the money.”

The video will be sent to national funding bodies and councils to help secure grants.

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