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Skatepark funding ramped up thanks to cash seized from criminals

Youngsters battling to preserve a popular skatepark for future generations are celebrating a funding commitment from Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston.

St Neots Skatepark in Riverside, Cambridge, which has entertained professional and amateur riders since 1989, will receive £3,500 from the Commissioner’s Youth Fund towards a major refurbishment project called Revamp the Ramp.

The funding will help towards the cost of stripping the skatepark’s surface back to bare metal to be reprimed and repainted back to competition standard.

The Youth Fund was set up to help channel young people’s energy into positive activities which boost self-esteem and prevent involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour.

Crime Prevention is a key priority in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan and he is working hard with partners to increase opportunities for young people to use their time constructively.

Darryl said: “Facilities like these are the lifeblood of our communities and provide a positive outlet for young people’s energy – it’s vital we protect them.

“Sport is an effective way to promote self-discipline, resilience and confidence and gives young people a chance to thrive. I hope many more generations of young people will be inspired to take up skating thanks to the efforts of campaigners.”

St Neots Skatepark is one of the biggest free facilities of its kind in the UK but is in need of urgent repair and refurbishment to ensure young people can continue to enjoy the facility for many years to come.

Director of Revamp the Ramp, Sam Curtin said: “The funding will be used to refurbish St Neots skatepark by resurfacing the park to bring it back to competition standard.

“Skateparks are so important to the youth and adults involved in extreme sports as it promotes getting active and is great for mental health. It also develops children’s soft skills, gets them off their computers and our in the fresh air.”

Revamp the Ramp aims to raise £100k towards the refurbishment and ongoing maintenance costs.

The Youth Fund is open to voluntary and community organisations based in the county who work with young people aged between five and 18 – or up to 25 years old for those with Special Educational Needs or disabilities. Grants are available for up to £3,500.

The Fund is a way of recycling the ill-gotten gains of criminals to benefit communities across the county.

For more information or to bid into the fund visit the Commissioner’s website.