Praise for Island leaders over handling of skatepark plans

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Four potential sites for the new facility were revealed by the project’s dedicated consultant during a meeting on Wednesday night.

A working group of skateboarders and BMX riders has also now been formed.

The developments follow the release of a video in February which featured BBC extreme sports commentator Ed Leigh and Olympic snowboarding bronze medallist Jenny Jones calling for a new skatepark to be built in Jersey.

Natalie Mayer, who organised the filming of the minute-long clip, said that a number of politicians and senior civil servants had now thrown their weight behind the project.

‘It feels like things have started moving forward more quickly. It is almost as if there has been a tide of change,’ she said.

‘All the groups of people with important jobs seem to now really understand the value of having a skatepark and the benefits it can bring.’

She added: ‘So many people who were not so sure about this have now been won over. I cannot see how it will not go ahead now.’

The current skatepark on the New North Quay was closed in January after some of its users were captured on CCTV throwing concrete blocks into the adjacent marina and climbing onto the roof of the Maritime Museum building.

Ports of Jersey closed the facility but then reopened it on a temporary basis until September and have pledged £50,000 to the creation of a new park.

During Wednesday’s meeting at the Town Hall, it was revealed that four sites had been proposed by a consultant appointed to investigate the implementation of a new facility – Springfield Stadium, Jardins de la Mer, Les Quennevais playing fields and Millbrook Park.

Ms Mayer added that she thought Jardins de la Mer was the most suitable area and said that a high-class facility similar to those in the UK was achievable.

‘I feel people have an upgraded vision of what is available, as we are building this from scratch,’ she said.

‘People have now been able to see what facilities there are in the UK and say, why can we not have something like those too?’

Meanwhile, 40-year-old Karl Payne, who has been skating in Jersey since he was 16, said he thought that both States Members and civil servants had got behind the idea.

‘I have been skating since I was 16 and there have been lots of different skateparks since then. We need somewhere permanent.

‘I do think it is going well so far. There is still so much to do but everyone involved seems really up for it and we have had some great support from the States.’

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