Hayling seafront set for brand new skatepark after grassroots community project raises more than £200,000 to make ‘dream come true’

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The team of veteran skateboarders behind The Hayling Skatepark Project have rallied the community to successfully raise £207,000 to create new facilities on the seafront.

Maverick Industries, the UK’s leading skatepark builder, have been appointed to deliver the project.

Matt Pilkington, project chairman, said: ‘Getting to this stage where we’re about to break ground feels like a dream come true.

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Darren Drinkwater and Matt Pilkington of The Hayling Skatepark Project. Picture: Keith Woodland (010521-57)

‘We’re super excited about the launch and are already turning our attention to phase two, which involves fundraising for solar powered lights and starting a skateboarding coaching programme led by young people.’

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With the help of Havant Borough Council’s communities team, the project team secured £75,000 from historic section 106 funding and were successful in winning several additional grants from the Veolia Environmental Trust, the FatFace Foundation, the MJ Camp Charitable Trust, and The Hayling Lions.

Councillor Clare Satchwell, cabinet lead for planning, Hayling seafront strategy and coastal management, said: ‘We are thrilled to be working with the Hayling Island skate park user group to ensure the replacement of the previous metal and wooden structures are met with the new concrete design.

Jamie Whittaker, seven, at the old Hayling skatepark. Picture: Keith Woodland (010521-30)

‘The new design will provide an accessible, progressive and most of all a fun, skate provision to benefit the health and wellbeing of our residents. We know from experience that facilities such as these are often travelled to from far and wide so once complete, later this year, we are looking forward to welcoming new visitors to the island.

‘The skatepark is part of our ambitious and exciting plans to enhance the seafront, and create an inspiring destination.’

More than 1,500 people attended the Skate Jam event last summer, and £10,000 has been raised by the public and local businesses, including £5,000 from Burras Ltd and £3,000 from ILOVEDUST amongst others.

Aine Scott, operations lead for the project, said: ‘Working on this project and speaking with many young people and their families has shown us how this facility is and can be so much more than just a skatepark.

‘It has been a catalyst for bringing people together in a really positive way and has inspired us to think of ways it can create more opportunities and support young people in the area.’

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