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Barnton teen raises £1,200 towards popular skate park replacement

Pro-active Tom Rowley has set up a GoFundMe page to help the parish council fund a new facility

15-year-old Tom Rowley is helping raise money towards a replacement skate park in Barnton, where he lives

A community-spirited teenager has raised more than £1,200 towards the cost of a village skate park project in just one week.

Barnton Parish Council wants to replace the rundown facility on Nursery Road Recreation Ground but is looking at a bill of around £53,000.

Rather than stand back, 15-year-old BMX and stunt scooter rider Tom Rowley has launched a determined campaign to help ensure its future.

Tom says he has been using the park for the past six or seven years and spends most of his time there when he is not at school.

Tom is a keen BMX and stunt scooter rider

Asked why he decided to set up the GoFundMe page, he said: “It is a place to meet friends and to make new friends, it is a very important part of the Barnton community.

“If the park were to close there would be nowhere and nothing to do for lots of people.

“I feel that it would have a big effect on Barnton village if it were to be closed and that’s why I feels it’s so important to raise the money to help the council in getting the park replaced.

Tom declared the support he has received ‘phenomenal’ and is busy planning a fundraiser with the local pub.

While Barnton Parish Council has raised half of the funds required, it has applied for WREN and Big Lottery Fund grants and would welcome the support of local businesses.

Barnton Parish Council is hoping to replace the aging skate park

Cllr Judith Phoenix, who sits on the skate park committee, explained that the ‘well-used’ skate park is 12-years-old and ‘coming to the end of its life’.

She said: “It has had so much use that the ramps have got holes in.

“The prognosis is that it will have to be demolished within 12 months.

“It would be a great loss to the village if we could not replace it.”

Praising Tom’s fundraising, Cllr Phoenix said he is ‘such an enthusiastic person’ who needs to be recognised.

Tom added: “I speak for all the users of this skatepark whether young or old, we will be eternally thankful for any donations which will enable us and future generations to continue to use this excellent facility.”

To donate, click here or contact parish clerk Toni Critchlow on 07849344940.

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