SKATER boys and girls are honing their skills at a new park in Sheffield after the long-awaited facility opened. The skate park, on playing fields off Occupation Lane, Hackenthorpe, includes ramps for boarders and BMX riders to practise on.
Work to also install new seating, bins and a gate has been taking place in recent weeks.
Youngsters requested the skate park and £25,000 of community cash from housing developments was earmarked for the site.
They campaigned for a purpose-built skateboarding facility, even lobbying Sheffield Council and setting up a page on Facebook to raise awareness.
Coun Karen McGowan, Labour member for Birley ward, who has been involved with the scheme, said: “I have never been so proud of anything.
“So many kids have been on it, even my nephew has been down, and they all say how great it is.”
Some residents expressed fears the park could lead to anti-social behaviour and be unsafe as it was close to the tram stop, and a petition was presented against the plans.
However, after a public meeting and consultation, where young people, including those in the South East Youth Panel spoke, it went ahead.
Daniel Smith, 16, is the Youth Parliament member for the area and was involved with the campaign.
The Birley Community College student, of Hackenthorpe, said: “It is spectacular. It has been really busy since it opened.
“We managed to convince the right people that anti-social behaviour wouldn’t happen at the site and MP Clive Betts said we could review it.
“I don’t think there will be any problems, I think the young people will be happy we’ve got it for them and use it to hang out.”
Ramps in the skate park can be easily removed and the area is covered by CCTV cameras monitored by police. The project will be reviewed after a few months.
Coun Denise Fox, fellow Labour member for Birley, said: “We wanted to put a park there for youngsters, because there used to be a lot of pocket parks on the old Scowdens estate which were taken away.”