A NEW skate park in Kendal has officially opened after 15 years of planning.
Dozens of excited young skaters and cyclists gathered at Beezon Fields, on the banks of the River Kent, on Saturday to see their dream come to fruition.
The £60,000 park is the brainchild of the town’s youngsters, who worked with companies to design the facility.
Five years ago young Kendalians, with the support of Young Cumbria, were successful in getting the funding needed to build the skate park.
“It was a lot of effort,” said Luke Waine, 18, one of eight young people involved in getting the park up and running. “I started talking to manufacturers, planners and the council when I was 14.
“It was a great experience and definitely worth it when you see what we have created for ourselves and future generations.”
The park, which is approximately 50 feet long, contains large ramps as well as a grinding pole.
Youth worker Emma Banks, said: “It’s a bit of a relief now it’s finally here.
“These kids have worked hard to get exactly what they wanted and they are all really pleased with it.
“It’s not just about this park, it’s about looking towards the future and seeing what else can be done for young people in Kendal.”
A ribbon was jointly cut by Kendal Mayor Coun John Wilshaw and Luke, before youngsters were treated to a day of live music, a graffiti project and a BMX raffle.
South Lakeland District Council’s Ben Berry, who represents Windermere, and Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron also turned up to give their support.
Coun Berry said the park was a long time coming but he was pleased with the design.
Mr Farron hopped on to a bike belonging to one of the youngsters for a short ride around the park.
The MP said: “Not a week has gone by in the past few years when one of these kids hasn’t pestered me for updates.
“Anyone who bad mouths young people need to take a look at what these have achieved.”
The day also marked the opening of the new Kendal Lads and Girls Club café.
Kathleen Newson, chief executive of Young Cumbria, added: “Young people in Kendal have been asking for a good skate park to use for a long long time and we are overjoyed for them that it is finally here.”