Funding approved for new Newtownabbey skate park
Plans for a new skate park at V36 in Newtownabbey have taken a leap forward after it was revealed at a meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council on Monday that funding has been approved.
Councillors have been told that a funding bid to the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) for European funding has been successful.
However, elected representatives have yet to be told if SEUPB will fund the entire £0.5m project.
Tendering for construction of the V36 skate park was already expected to go ahead.
The long-awaited V36 skate park has been earmarked for a site beside the Valley Leisure Centre, in Newtownabbey
It is anticipated the new sports facility which has been hailed as the biggest in Ireland would be able to “offer a first class experience for amateurs and professionals”.
Macedon Alliance Councillor Billy Webb remarked that “young people will be drawing their pensions before it is up and running” to which Mayor Councillor Jim Montgomery joked: “Pensioners skating.”
Cllr Webb asked if it could “be given some priority” noting there is “priority funding” for this project.
Party colleague Glengormley Alderman Julian McGrath asked about the possibility of the running track at Antrim Forum being moved into a higher priority category for funding stating that the track is “in bad repair”.
“The fact we only have eight running tracks like this in Northern Ireland indicates what a potential asset and resource it is,” he stated.
He called for investment with “a bit more haste”.
Macedon DUP Councillor Victor Robinson went on to say that a skate park had been talked about by Newtownabbey Borough Council.
“It has been going a long time. Some of the young people involved, they are married now and have their own kids.”
Glengormley Alderman Phillip Brett said that his involvement dates back to 2013 adding that it should be “brought to a head for council to decide how to move forward”.
The council’s chief executive Jacqui Dixon said that a letter had been received from funders on Friday.
“We should be be good to go. A report will be going to Planning Committee to confirm that.”
The Mayor quipped: “That is good to see. All practise your skating.”
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
Click here to read: Council seeking £0.5m support for Newtownabbey skate park