A memorial skate park has finally been opened following a three year campaign.
Friends of Isaac Atkinson, who died in 2012, spent no time in taking to the new slopes, rails and jumps at Sands Recreation Ground in Holmfirth, which underwent a more than £55,000 renovation after the town’s community lent its support.
It was opened by Kirklees Council this week and has already attracted more young skaters, bikers and scooter riders than ever before.
The redevelopment of the skate park was a legacy project for Holmfirth High School student Isaac, 15, who with his friends asked for a park upgrade in early 2012 just before he died.
His dream was kept alive by fellow skaters Jake Oversby, Emily-Jane Cappleman, Elliott Garretty, Harry Hale, Toby Goodall-Munroe and Georgina Kitch, who worked with their families, the community, Kirklees Council and businesses to turn it into a reality under the umbrella of Skate4Isaac.
Speaking at the park about their success, Toby, 17, said: “It’s great and we are really pleased– it’s so satisfying to see that the work has been done and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, I think it’s quite astounding really.”
Noticeable changes have been made to the old park, including a large increase in size from 264 to 720 square metres and the installation of new ramps, a stepped section and other features, a smooth skate surface and the installation of floodlights.
Jake, 19, said: “A lot more people have been coming along already because of what’s here and how nice it looks.
“More younger kids are having a go and while before we used to go to other parks in Newsome, Meltham and Greenhead Park people from those ones are now coming to us.
“It’s made it a lot more inclusive and friendly.
“I think Isaac would have liked it and it’s nice to know that this will be a lasting memorial for him– hopefully we’ll be able to come back here when we’re older.
“We just want to thank everyone who has helped us to make this possible.”
The parent of another skate park user, Erin Chappell, said her son Jack was enjoying the upgraded attraction.
She said: “He’s a big fan and I think it’s one of the best in the area.”
The plans were submitted by Kirklees’ Council’s Street Scene service, who were also involved in helping the group.
A formal opening event will be held later in the summer by the group.
For up to date information, visit the official Facebook page.