'Skate-of-the-art' park opens
6:02pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
AFTER years of planning, hundreds of meetings and almost £500,000 in fundraising, Haverfordwest’s half-pipe dreams have finally come true.
On Saturday, December 14, members of Haverfordwest Skatepark Association (HSA) were joined by skaters, bikers, friends and family, as they cut the ribbon on Pembrokeshire’s newest skate park.
There to congratulate HSA on their years of hard work was Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb.
“What they’ve done for the county is absolutely massive,” said Mr Crabb, who was also involved in negotiating for the project on behalf of HSA.
“This is a big day for HSA, who have worked so hard over the years to turn their vision into a reality for the community.
“They have shown tireless dedication and commitment in delivering a modern professionally-designed skatepark for our county.”
Made up of skaters and their families, HSA has been campaigning since 2007 for a dedicated skating and biking facility in the town, meeting every fortnight and organising a variety of fundraising events.
Geraint Williams, chairman of HSA, said the project had been ‘a real community venture’.
“Our committee have been fantastic, bringing their unique talents to the group to make it a success.
“We are all now looking forward to seeing the community enjoying the park and seeing their skills develop and would like to thank our families and friends for their support,” he added.
As well as National Lottery funding, significant donations were made by Narberth Skate Group, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Valero, Dragon LNG, County Sports and Western Power Distribution. HSA also raised a further £10,000 through fundraising events.
Gareth Newton, Wales Committee Member for the Big Lottery Fund, said: "Projects like this are making a difference to the lives of so many people in communities across Wales."
HSA will now continue to promote the park as a venue for skating competitions, a hub for local athletes, and a destination for tourists, and Pembrokeshire County Council has committed to maintain the skatepark and provide full Public Liability insurance.
Speaking at the opening, HSA secretary Alison Turner said the initial reaction from skaters and bikers has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s amazing to see it with people on it. We’re over the moon,” she said.
She added: “It will help put Pembrokeshire on the map, encourage tourism and provide another great attraction that the people of Pembrokeshire can be proud of.”
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