Skate escape is not big enough

Skate stuff: Nectario Maroudas, 11, from Higher Walton, at the opening of the Leyland Skate Park
Skate stuff: Nectario Maroudas, 11, from Higher Walton, at the opening of the Leyland Skate Park

A Leyland woman is urging council chiefs to move the town’s new skate park – because it’s not big enough.

Edna Lydiate believes the new facilities at the back of the town’s leisure centre in Lancastergate are too small to cope with demand from local youths.

Skaters and their supporters in the town campaigned long and hard for a park to be installed, for local teenagers to visit and practise their skills and socialise in safety.

They were granted their wish in December when SkateSpot was built for £23,000 on unused land.

But keen cyclist Edna, from Broad Street, in Leyland, says the skate park is not big enough for the kinds of stunts and tricks the teenagers want to try, and they’re shunning the facility in favour of nearby supermarket car parks.

She said: “During the Christmas holidays, I went shopping and was very surprised to see about 15 schoolchildren riding bikes and skateboards at the front of Tesco.

“Naturally I wondered why they were not using the new skate park, so I walked down to take a look at it, but I couldn’t find it.

“I went into the leisure centre and asked where it was, but I was told by a staff member they didn’t think the park was big enough.

“I went to take a look and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s hidden away around the back of a building, out of sight.

“I feel disappointed this is all the powers-that-be could do for the youngsters. It’s not a patch on the skate park in Southport where children can congregate and chat and, above all, feel safe.

“I would love to see a larger skate park for the children in Leyland, I think they deserve it.”

One alternative site suggested is the former Hulme’s Mill site.

A spokesperson for South Ribble Borough Council denied the space was insufficient for demand, but said the authority is looking for local businesses to help extend the existing skate park.

Coun Barrie Yates, chairman of South Ribble Partnership’s people and communities group, said: “We are delighted the SkateSpot has proved popular with youngsters, and has had a positive impact on the number of youths hanging around the town centre at night.”