A NEW and improved skatepark for Fordingbridge is set to become a reality thanks to a “great community effort” to make the project succeed.

The new facility will replace an existing skatepark at the town’s recreation ground – and civic chiefs say work could start in a matter of weeks.

Fordingbridge Town Council has been working with the local community including skatepark users and district councillor Roxy Matcham.

The town mayor, Cllr Paul Anstey, said: “As a council we would like to thank everyone who has been involved.

“It has been a great community effort to give us a skatepark the community deserves.

“The community have always looked after the (existing) skatepark and there is a duty of care on our part to provide them with a new and upgraded version.”

The total cost of the project is about £130,000, of which more than £100,000 has already been secured. New Forest District Council has donated £25,000. The town council has allocated £46,000, Cllr Matcham has given further £1,100 and one of the town centre shops, All the Cool Stuff, has raised £700.

Cllr Matcham said: “I am so pleased everybody’s hard work has paid off and delivering the skatepark is now a reality.

“I’m really excited for Fordingbridge to have something nice and new where everyone can go to hang out and get skills.”

The existing facility opened more than 15 years ago.

The plan is to replace the metal structure with a concrete one, which will have a longer lifespan as well as costing less to maintain.