DOZENS of youngsters enjoyed laser quest, shot speeder reader and, most importantly, skateboarding after dark, at an event organised to mark the installation of permanent lighting at Belper’s skate park.
The celebration attracted boys and girls ranging in age from 11 to 19 from Belper and surrounding villages, including Milford, Kilburn and Holbrook.
Belper Mayor Cllr Alan Cox said: “We hope that young people will come and use the site in the evenings.”
Feedback from youngsters at the event was very positive.
Belper School student Ben Hallam said: “I think the lights are really good, now I will be able to come down and stay out later at the skate park. Me and my mates will now be able to go down on week nights and not just weekends.”
Fifteen-year-old Kyle Foster made the point that the lighting should make a difference to calls about anti-social behaviour in Belper. He said: “Me and my mates used to use our boards on car parks in town as soon as it got dark. We then used to get moved off by the police.
“We were only there because of the lights. We couldn’t use the skate park because it was too dark. Now we can go there because of the new lights. I think it will make a difference to people.”
The installation of the lights came after a successful pilot project ran last year which resulted in a decrease in the number of calls about anti-social behaviour in Belper.
As a result, Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership searched for funding for permanent lighting for the site.
The Partnership helped Belper Town Council submit an application to The Veolia Environmental Trust which brought in funding of £2,244. The Partnership itself contributed £6,000. The town council, Belper Baptist Church and Derbyshire County Council added funds to wards the total cost of £12,244.
Amber Valley borough councillor Chris Short said: “Seeing and hearing the reactions of the young people here this evening, I am confident that the lighting will have a positive effect.
“It enables young people to enjoy their skateboards and bikes in an appropriate place.”
Belper skate park’s lights will be on every evening until 11pm.
The Partnership will pay for the power supply, while the borough council will maintain the site.