Skaters roll

OTTERY St Mary's planned skate and BMX park came a step closer to reality this week, thanks to a £38,000 grant.

OTTERY St Mary's planned skate and BMX park came a step closer to reality this week, thanks to a £38,000 grant.Young people, from The Station Youth Centre and the Ottery Skate and BMX group, have been campaigning for the new facility for two-and-a-half years.Now they have secured a £38,000 grant from Devon County Council's Youth Capital Fund, which gives them enough cash to kick start the project.Danielle Howlett, the area youth worker for Ottery, said a member of the club, Kane Herbert, 14, applied with her support for a capital grant from the Devon County Council Youth Capital Fund on behalf of the Skate and BMX group.The youth centre was visited on Tuesday, January 15 by youth representatives and an evaluation team from the fund and they were interviewed about the application to confirm whether they would provisionally allocate funding.Mrs Howlett said: "We are all very excited about the good news as the group has been turned down in the past for lottery grants."This gives them real motivation to find more funding. The young people in the group were absolutely brilliant."Elli Pang, secretary of the Skate Park Committee, said: "The cash will help us do the legal and project management work and this injection of funds will give the whole project a most welcome stimulus."She said the group had plans for a competition-standard park, and the money would be used for landscaping the land agreed for the park near The King's School.The park is expected to cost up to £200,000 to complete, however the final total is unclear, as the group hopes people in the community will come forward to help for free.Other money already donated has included £10,000 from the Ottery Town Council, £1,500 from local churches and £1,000 from the Co-op.Councillor John Smith, Devon County Council's executive member for children and young people's services, said: "The young people have done a wonderful job in making this project happen, working extremely enthusiastically and effectively with the help of the adult committee members. "The Devon County Council Youth Bank is run by young people for young people, for exactly this sort of project."The Youth Capital Fund is run by Devon County Council's Youth Bank. Council money is set aside to be allocated to young people's projects by a panel of young people.Work on the skate park is due to start soon.

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