Crowdfunder launched to revamp Finsbury Park skatepark
- Credit: Betongpark
A campaign is looking to raise £50,000 towards a £200,000 project to create a skating plaza for the community in Finsbury Park.
In the year that skateboarding is due to debut as an Olympic sport, Friends of Finsbury Park has started a crowdfunder towards expanding the existing facilities into an adjoining space to make a street-style space for all abilities.
The proposal reads: "While Finsbury Park offers many amenities - a playground, two small outdoor gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, a cafe and a small art gallery - there is limited provision for teens and young people, and few outdoor areas locally that cater to those age groups."
Once the area is finished, organiser Bethany Anderson hopes there could be free or subsidised lessons available, and has ideas about urban art workshops too.
She came up with the idea after taking her 10-year-old twins to the existing space - two skate bowls installed over 20 years ago - and seeing how beneficial skating is for children and young adults.
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"I just think we need to prioritise this community, who we want to get off the street and keep safe," she told the Gazette. "Being in the skateboarding community, it goes across class, gender and racial backgrounds in a way that something like tennis doesn't."
The Stroud Green makeup artist has partnered with design firm Betongpark on the project.
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Bethany has also applied for funding from numerous organisations to top up the crowdfunder.
Cllr Kirsten Hearn, Haringey Council’s cabinet member for climate change, equalities and leisure, said the authority supports the proposal as the pandemic has had a "big impact" on children and young people: "It’s very important then that they have access to free, high-quality facilities where they can benefit from a sense of belonging, as well as exercise and socialising.
“However, this iconic gig venue in a beautiful park generated no income last year and that has presented real challenges. We have had to prioritise our spending on certain specific park improvements and projects."
The council is currently in phase one of installing its new Richard Hope Play Space, is improving the toilets and is looking to put up CCTV cameras for safety.
Friends of Finsbury Park plan to hold a consultation every Saturday afternoon in April at the existing skate bowls.
Bethany is also planning a "skateathon" event to raise money for the project.