Joy at opening of town's new skate park

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Delight has greeted the opening of North Walsham's new skate park, which has already been called one of the best in Norfolk. 

Dozens of young people headed to the town's Trackside park on Saturday to try out the park's bowls, jumps, ramps and rails. 

Duncan Baker and Matt Smith, right, with young skaters at the opening of North Walsham's new skate park.

Duncan Baker and Matt Smith, right, with young skaters at the opening of North Walsham's new skate park. - Credit: John Townsend

The skate park has been a project of North Walsham Play, a charity which runs events and builds equipment around the town to encourage people to get active.

Matthew Smith, the charity's founder and trustee, said the park had already got a "very positive" reaction from skaters.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

He said: "They've commented on how smooth it is to ride, and said it is equally as good as anything else in Norfolk, if not better.

"We hope it will be an attraction for many years to come."

Mr Smith the skate park was all about "giving the community what they want".

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He said: "Via consultations, the users of the old skate park have designed and shaped what we now see located at Trackside."

People gathered for the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

People gathered for the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Mr Smith said the skate park's construction was beset by challenges including Covid, lack of materials, storms and rain. 

The facility cost £190,000, paid for by fundraising from charities and businesses and others, and grants of £75,000 from Sport England and £60,000 from the National Lottery Reaching Communities Fund. Businesses have also helped by supplying materials and services for free.

Landscaping works, including putting in outdoor benches and tables, will take place in the coming weeks and cost another £10,000.

Floodlights, paid for through Section 106 funding - money provided by developers - will be installed in spring.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, who cut a ribbon to declare the skate park open, said: "It is a real testament to the community that have worked so hard to build what is now the best skate park in the county for our young people to enjoy. 

"Matt Smith and all his team along with the many groups that brought the project to fruition should be immensely proud of what they have achieved."

A celebration evening is being planned to take place at the skate park later this year. 

Mr Smith said future projects North Walsham Play was considering included renewing older play equipment at the central Memorial Park, and at Woodville and Trackside parks. 

Duncan Baker and Matt Smith, right, with young skaters at the opening of North Walsham's new skate park.

A scene from the opening of North Walsham's new skate park. - Credit: John Townsend

From left, mayor Garry Bull, North Walsham Play founder Matt Smith and MP Duncan Baker

From left, mayor Garry Bull, North Walsham Play founder Matt Smith and MP Duncan Baker at the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Duncan Baker runs up the slope at the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Duncan Baker runs up the slope at the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Duncan Baker at the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Duncan Baker at the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

North Walsham Play founder and trustee Matt Smith at the new North Walsham Skate Park.

North Walsham Play founder and trustee Matt Smith at the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people at the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people at the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park.

A scene from the opening of the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park.

Young people try out the new North Walsham Skate Park. - Credit: John Newstead