Work finally starts on new Leys skate park

Gordon Roper at the site of the new skate park

Gordon Roper at the site of the new skate park Buy this photo

First published in News

WORK has finally started on a new skate park for Blackbird Leys, more than three years after it was first promised.

Skaters on the Oxford estate were told they would receive new facilities when their skate park was bulldozed to make way for a new Co-op nursery in Cuddesdon Way in 2009.

But later that year, they told the Oxford Mail they were being forced to travel to Thame or simply skate on the streets of Blackbird Leys.

Now three years on, bulldozers have moved into Frys Hill Park and the park is set to open on October 27 for the half-term holidays .

Northfield Brook city councillor Scott Seamons, who helped get the skate park built, said: “It’s taken a little longer than we would have liked for one reason or another, but I’m excited to see the work going ahead.

“People have been asking for years when a new facility would replace the one formerly at Cuddesdon Way and I am pleased we have found a suitable site.

“This should provide an excellent local facility for skaters on the Leys for years to come.”

As part of the initial agreement, the Co-op gave Oxford City Council £60,000 towards sports facilities in developer contributions, known as section 106 money.

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Plans initially centred on creating facilities in the Pegasus Road park, but it was moved to Frys Hill after consultation with residents and the estate’s parish council.

The new park is set to include ramps, bars and steps for local skaters and bike riders to use.

Blackbird Leys Parish Council chairman Gordon Roper said: “For the first six months after the skate park was taken away, this was something we brought up at every city council south east area committee meeting.

“I kept asking what was happening with it.

“It is in an ideal spot there on the hill. It’s a good thing that this is happening.”

Work also started earlier this month on a major £300,000 skate park at Meadow Lane, East Oxford. That should be open by November.

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