Ottery skate park dream go-ahead

Start date revealed as plucky kids raise crucial cash

WORK on a long-awaited Ottery skate and BMX park will begin next month- and the facility could be up and running in February next year.

A surprise �8,000 cash injection means construction can begin at the end of October, but driving forces have warned crucial money is still needed to make youngsters’ dreams come true.

A plucky pair of children and their fundraising granny want to ask every Ottery home for help to ensure one final hurdle is overcome.

Seven-year-olds Ellie Thomas and Abbey Cobbledick are so desperate for a skate park they got the fundraising ball rolling by scooping �25 from picking and selling raspberries.

Ellie’s gran Rosemary Goodland wants to organise a massive street collection to help fill a funding gap of around �5,000.

“We’ve got less in the town for yougsters now than when I was a teenager!” said Rosemary, 73, from Higher Spring Gardens.

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“Being a mother and grandmother, and seeing children skate up and down the streets with nowhere to go and nothing to do, the skate park has got to happen, we’ve got to get something for them.

“I know children are trying their best, they all want this. If one youngster in each road goes down their street with an adult, and every house gives �1, we could raise the money.”

Members of the Ottery and District Skate and BMX Group learnt this month the project had scooped a crucial �8,000 boost from the Devon Safety Partnership.

Project chiefs have placed orders for one set of the facility’s ramps, and work is scheduled to start in late October. Construction is expected to take three to four months.

The group still needs around �5,000 and faces a funding d-day next month when a cash appeal will be considered by East Devon District Council.

“The �8,000 has saved the project- we can’t stress that enough,” said Elli Pang, secretary of the skate and BMX Group.

“We have the bare minimum that has enabled us to keep the funding we already had, and will allow us to make a start- which is the most important thing.”