Young urban acrobats are celebrating a major grant to build the second largest training park of its kind in the country in Ellesmere Port.
The construction of the parkour circuit in Whitby Park has been made possible by the award of £66,780 from not for profit business WREN.
It will be first training park of its kind in the area and the largest outside London.
The sport is described as a form of urban acrobatics in which participants use the landscape to perform acrobatic movements in order to get from one place to another involving vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping.
Features will include structures and obstacles designed to improve strength through pull-ups, balance beams, climbing blocks and overhead bars all with appropriate safety surfacing.
There are more than 40 different moves and significant strength and physical training is required in order to stay safe.
The grant is the result of three years hard work by the Parkour Collective, a 12-strong group of local free-running enthusiasts aged between 15-23.
The group has helped develop the project with the borough council’s Our Place team and Groundwork Cheshire with support from The Friends of Whitby Park.
David Tai, senior manager in the Our Place team said: “ I’m extremely proud of the Parkour Collective for the effort they’ve put in to make this project a reality. Projects like this give young people in the area a safe way to have fun and keep fit.”
Stefan Green, 22, a member of the collective said: “When I found out that we’d got the funding from WREN and the project was going ahead I was very happy. We’ve waited a long time and done everything we can to make the facility happen.”
He explained: “We originally got into parkour through videos on YouTube and decided to give it a go. Parkour gives us something fun and active to do, better than being stuck inside on the computer or getting into trouble.”
The proposed parkour area will be located adjacent to the existing BMX /skate park in Whitby Park.
A number of events have been held in the park to promote the project which has received widespread support.
Mr Tai added: “As an area which has historically lacked investment in facilities like this, there is now a real opportunity to drive things forward in Ellesmere Port. We hope the project will have an impact in raising the profile of and interest in parkour and that more local young people can get involved in this brilliant activity.”