A POPULAR skatepark in Tadley is set to be rebuilt as the town council has launched a major campaign to raise money for the project.

Tadley Skatepark on Common Road is set to undergo a £150,000 rebuild with the Tadley Town Council accepting a quote from concrete skatepark company Canvas Spaces.

Tadley Town Council chairperson Avril Burdett said the project is still at a very early stage at the moment, but the council believe that the skateboard park is in need to renew.

“The park has served us really well and has been very popular among young people. But we must replace it.

“So, the campaign starts to raise money, meet with contractors and start planning by talking to people about what they want. It’s a total rebuild. The old one has to be taken out completely, and the new one put in.”

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Tadley Skatepark was opened in 2010 in memory of two Tadley youths who died in a car crash.

It was built using the money from a fund set up in memory of skate park regulars Jake Burden, 18, and Lee Robinson, 16, who died in August 2007 after the car in which they were travelling crashed at Gales Garage on the A340, near Sherborne St John.

Basingstoke Gazette: Jake BurdenJake Burden

Basingstoke Gazette: Lee RobinsonLee Robinson

The park was opened by ITV Meridian presenter Sangeeta Bhabra – who also presented the fund with a cheque for £50,000 after it won the Big Lottery Fund’s People’s Millions phone-in contest on ITV.

The project – which involved replacing ramps, skating and BMX equipment and relaying the park’s surface – cost £90,000 and took six weeks to complete.

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Cllr Burdett said, during the rebuild, the council will “remain sympathetic to the original fund that they set up for Jake and Lee”.

“We are speaking to their families as part of the consultation, to make sure that Jake and Lee will be remembered in the new park as well.

The council is planning to take out a public works loan, and raise the rest of the money from grants.

Cllr Burdett added: “There is money locally that we might be able to tap into if we have a shortfall. Our clerk is very busy at the moment.”

The council has also created a survey on its Facebook page to collect initial feedback from the residents about the rebuild plan.

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Kimberley Barber