Welwyn Garden City skaters ‘thrilled’ at prospect of new skate park and revamp of old one

PUBLISHED: 12:03 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:03 15 November 2018

George Smith has been campaigning for a skate park in Welwyn Garden City for years. Picture: Supplied.

George Smith has been campaigning for a skate park in Welwyn Garden City for years. Picture: Supplied.

Archant

Skaters are thrilled at the possibility that Welwyn Garden City may be getting a new skate park and an old one revamped.

The Wheat Quarter has applied to Welwyn Hatfield Council to include a skate park in its redevelopment of the old Shredded Wheat site.

Meanwhile, the borough council has created a survey asking people what they would like done to the King George skate park with the intention of using housing developer funding to improve the facility.

Councillor Terry Mitchinson said: “We’re really keen to hear the views of local residents and users of the skate park to see how they think we can best make use of the money.”

George Smith, 21, of Welwyn Garden City, has been skating for around eight years.

The former Stanborough School pupil claims King George is a “neglected” park and that the facilities are “dangerous” to use as they don’t accommodate skateboards due to the dips and holes in the metal ramps.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The King George park is metal based and long-term more expensive to maintain, having a concrete park would be cost-effective long-term and be the ideal material for all skateboard, scooter and BMX riders.”

George, who is “excited” about the prospect of a new park on the Shredded Wheat site, started a petition two months ago to highlight the local support for it.

He added: “Skaters from all over the country would travel to it if it were built well.

“It would be nice if the council could host a focus group to gauge what people want and how they want it done.

“If not, we will just get another terribly designed park that is more dangerous to its users than it is fun.”

Speaking of the benefits of skating George said: “Skate parks are proven to increase health, well-being, community cohesion whilst reducing social exclusion and antisocial behaviour.

“I’ve made so many good friends.

“I’ve met good people who just want to skate, to push themselves to be better than they were yesterday.

“I personally think that mindset is wholly positive and should be encouraged.”

To sign George’s petition visit https://www.change.org/p/welwyn-hatfield-council-welwyn-garden-city-skatepark

To have your say in the council’s survey of the King George park visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/kgvskate

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