The current metal skate park on the riverside is deemed out of date, noisy and unwelcoming to girls and less capable or confident young people. So a group from Tavistock Youth Cafe made up of youth workers, skaters, and young people have formed a steering group known as TaviSkate. They are urging community support for their vision to provide the town with a concrete skatepark for many wheeled sports.
A survey by Tavistock Town Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan has shown that one of the priorities for young residents which would make a big impact on their lives, is the provision of a new skate park. The plan is being drawn up through consultation with residents about what the key for a better town would be. Young people’s views are being taken into account for the plan which would have statutory status when big decisions are made about Tavistock into the future, alongside housing, healthcare and transport.
Vicki Lloyd-Walsh, youth leader, and Tavistock Youth Cafe manager, said: “We have a vision, on behalf of young people of Tavistock to provide them with what they’ve been saying they want for years, a modern, well designed skate park that’s safe and inclusive — that encourages and welcomes children and young people, whatever their ability and age.
“This need is recognised for a concrete skatepark, but now it is being formalised in the neighbourhood plan which the town council is drawing up. In this process we need to provide hard statistics for the plan, so it can be taken forward, first by the town council, then through funding and design to reality. But there’s a long way to go. We don’t expect anyone to just give us a skate park without showing how serious we are and what the proven need is and by who.
“So we’re starting this journey with empirical evidence gathering using a QR code which parents, young people and any member of the community can use to complete a survey, so we can provide the steering group of the neighbourhood plan with evidence they can include the skatepark in the priorities for the plan which can then be used for persuading the decision makers.”
Chloe Georgakis, youth worker, said: “We need to build a picture of the community’s view on future sports and youth facilities. It’s been proven good quality skateparks support vibrant, healthy communities of young people. Young people will respect a well designed skate park for wheeled sports, especially if it caters for all, including girls and younger children who feel a bit intimidated by the older boys who use the current one.”
Fred Harper, fellow youth worker and skate boarder, said: “There’re many examples of towns in Devon the size of Tavistock or smaller who have concrete skateparks,”