Chelmsford skateboarders can now enjoy the skate ramps at Central Park well into the evening with new floodlights.
The floodlights were funded by contributions that the Lib Dem-led City Council extracted from local developers and are programmed to turn on when it gets dark and turn off automatically at 10pm. One of the lights will stay on for 10 minutes longer to give skaters time to pack up and go home safely.
The Central Park skateboard ramps were completely rebuilt as new in 2014. They're very popular with skateboarders and rollerskaters of all ages. For many young people, the skatepark is a place to meet up as well as to practise their skills.
However, in the darker evenings, especially in winter, everyone goes home early. Last year, skaters told the council they'd like floodlights so they could skate for longer.
Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford, said, "When we met with a group of young people on Zoom in November 2020 and asked what they wanted to see in Chelmsford, this was at the top of their wishlist. It took a bit of time to raise funds, obtain planning consent, and arrange the installation - so it's wonderful to see this community-led project come to life. This proves that the council listens to our local communities and continues to invest in safe spaces for young people."
The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Jude Deakin said "I'm very pleased to officially switch on these newly installed floodlights. Well done to Essex Youth Service and Chelmsford City Council for encouraging a positive youth culture in Chelmsford. Perhaps someday, we will produce our own skateboarding Olympic champion."