‘We can’t throw good money after bad’ - Louth skate park dream is left in tatters

Louth X Sports inherited a long-running campaign to bring a skate park to the town in 2008.
Louth X Sports inherited a long-running campaign to bring a skate park to the town in 2008.

Hopes of Louth finally realising a dream of having a skate park have taken a huge hit after the committee behind it ran into funding problems.

A report from a May 2 meeting between The Louth X Sports group, East Lindsey District Council officers and six Louth Town Councillors has revealed that the group looks set to fall at least £100,000 short of their fundraising target.

James Brindle, ELDC’s sports development officer, told the group they are unlikely to raise over £50,000, much less than the overall £150,000 cost.

John Andrews, the X Sports founder, had said the skate park plan for the Meridian Leisure Centre was almost at the planning stage, but the town council meeting on May 21 revealed the plan had hit the buffers.

And as the town council seem unwilling to take on the project formally, it now looks unlikely to become a reality anytime soon.

Coun George Horton told the council meeting he was ‘bitterly disappointed and quite shocked’ at the development.

“Once again nothing will happen. When the cards were put on the table it was very disappointing,” he said.

Coun Trevor Marris insisted the council had always supported the idea, but feared taking it on would be ‘something else out of the public purse’.

Coun Margaret Ottaway praised Mr and Mrs Andrews, and blamed problems on past ‘mismanagement’ of others.

“We still need to bring this forward,” insisted Coun Laura Stephenson. “We need something like this in the town.

“Mr and Mrs Andrews feel like they are on their own, when everyone takes a bit of the burden it makes it easier.”

Coun Eileen Ballard said she couldn’t believe the £150,000 price tag for a skate park but Coun Chris Green took a philosophical approach. “The best way to climb a mountain is one step at a time,” he said.

It was agreed that the town council should give X Sports a £304 grant for a planning application for the skate park, which will bring a public consultation and therefore the possibility of funding.

But Coun Horton said the £304 would be ‘the tip of the iceberg’. “I don’t want to build up false hope or chuck good money after bad,” he said.