Proposal for new skate park and gym in Horncastle is backed by council

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Councillors in Horncastle have thrown their weight behind a proposal to deliver a skate park and an outdoor gym as part of potential projects to enhance the town.

Members of the Town Council met last week to discuss plans for small, medium and large projects, all designed to make Horncastle more appealing to residents and visitors.

After hearing an impassioned plea from ex-Mayor Coun Angela Burchall that there is ‘nothing for the town’s teenagers to do’, councillors agreed to look into the idea of a skate park and outdoor gym.

Council chairman Coun Brian Burbidge suggested the new facility could be sited in Bain Valley Park which he described as ‘under-used and under-developed.’

The skate park and gym topped a vote by councillors for ideas to be taken forward as part of a newly created masterplan called ‘Horncastle Projects.’

Councillors also backed proposals to enhance the town’s river banks in the medium category and supported a range of ideas in the small category - including improving the condition of railings at Wharf Road and Tesco Bridge.

It was the discussion regarding a large project which attracted most interest. Several suggestions were put forward, including a new heritage centre. However, Coun Burchall championed the idea of a multi-purpose facility, including the outdoor gym.

She told councillors: “I regularly see youngsters congregating near the playground between Prospect Street and Tesco.

“If you ask them, they’ll tell you there is nothing for them to do in Horncastle.

“Yes, the town does have some clubs and organisations doing a fantastic job but not everyone wants to join a club.

“When you look at Woodhall Spa which has all kinds of things to keep teenagers off the streets, we don’t have anything.”

Coun Burchall welcomed the idea of combining a skate park with other outdoor facilities, including a gym. She added: “It could be used by people of all ages. It’s a way of keeping fit and healthy. Other towns have them. Why can’t we have this in Horncastle?”

After supporting the idea, councillors agreed to look at a feasibility study to consider the best way to progress the idea.

That will examine potential sites and all-important funding.

Coun Burchall said the gym equipment could cost around £35,000 with more funds needed for safety flooring and the skate park. She suggested the council should contact Sport England.

Several sites were discussed, including the playground near Prospect Street, although Coun Maurice Lamb suggested there would be ‘a war’ with nearby residents if a youth facility was moved there.

Councillors agreed work on several smaller, less expensive, projects could start as soon as possible, with work carried out by staff and volunteers.

They admitted medium and large schemes could take months of planning and research with a hope of attracting community support.