VIDEO: New Eastwood skate park plans take off thanks to teens

Years of hard work by Eastwood teenagers is finally paying off – as their campaign to build a new skate park has taken off.

Work has just begun on the new £245,000 facility, which will be based in Coronation Park, after a five-year campaign by students from the former Eastwood Comprehensive School.

And one of the leading teenagers in the campaign, Beth Lee, now aged 18, said she is “overwhelmed” their hard work has paid off.

She said: “Five years ago, we stood in a classroom and said we wanted this.

“We have grown up trying to get this and now we finally get to see that it has a future.”

The campaign began after a school discussion about what the area needed to improve – and the children realised the old skate park was rusty, dangerous and not built very well.

“Five years ago, we stood in a classroom and wanted this.”

Beth said: “Everyone wanted to improve it.

“We knew it was a place where people of all ages could hang around in a safe environment and even go to make friends.”

Former classmate Rhianne Lounds, also 18, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing it on the ground. It will be a real attraction for people of all ages who like skateboarding and BMXing. People do use the park and we think it will add to the facilities here.”

The children began fundraising through concerts, raffles and asking for donations from businesses, both locally and nationally.

The fundraising earned them £45,000 locally and £90,000 was given to them externally, including a grant from Broxtowe Borough Council.

On top of this, they have received numerous awards for their efforts, such as the Princess Diana Award, the Nottinghamshire improvement scheme and two awards from former Eastwood mayor, Brian Griffin.

The teens then got in touch with Nottinghamshire County Council about getting further funding for the park, and were successful in getting the Supporting Local Communities fund.

Councillor Keith Longdon, current Eastwood mayor, who has supported them every step of the way, said: “People want youngsters to have something to do and a place to go where they can be safe.

“This will be bigger and better than the existing park and also safer for them to use. When it opens I think this will be the best skate park in the county.”