�100k Ottery skate and BMX park plea

THE wait for an Ottery skate and BMX park could be over in the new year- but �100,000 is needed to make more than a decade of youngsters dreams finally come true.

THE wait for an Ottery skate and BMX park could be over in the new year- but �100,000 is needed to make more than a decade of youngsters' dreams finally come true.

The protracted project, earmarked for land at The King's School, is making "exciting" progress according to the driving forces behind it.

A public meeting last Thursday roused further public support for the bid, and attracted new members to the committee set up to make it a reality.

Ottery councillor Roger Giles is keen to see work get under way as soon as possible and hopes there can be "some use" of it "early next year."

He said: "We need to make a start. Good progress has been made, we've got a 20-year lease (over the land), planning permission and money in the bank.

"This has been going on for ten to 12 years. Before, the stumbling block was finding a suitable location."

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"I hope it could have some use early next year. It may be the BMX-riders are able to use it first."

"It's all hands on deck," said Elli Pang, whose ten-year dream for the town's youngsters began when she frequently found herself driving her grandson and his friends to skate-parks in other places.

She added: "Useful people have joined our committee, it's exciting and I'm very upbeat, things seem to be going well.

"We are still short of a lot of money, around �100,000. We have raised �51,000."

Elli hopes East Devon District Council (EDDC) will support the bid in spite of the tough economic climate.

Ottery would be the only town in East Devon with a skate park that is not supported or managed by EDDC.

Two construction and engineering companies have already pitched their ideas for the park.

The Herald understands an agreement of a 20-year lease for the skate and BMX park land is close to being finalised between Devon County and Ottery town councils.