The Friends Of Warminster Park Have Disbanded

Wednesday 23rd January 2019:

The Friends Of Warminster Park Have Disbanded

The Friends of Warminster Park have agreed to disband after 12 years of formation, following the soon-to-be completed conclusion of its largest project that it originally started, which was to provide a new skatepark for the Lake Pleasure Grounds (the town park) in Warminster. The group felt that they had carried out a substantial amount of work to upgrade facilities in the Lake Pleasure Grounds prior to the transfer of ownership to Warminster Town Council in 2016.

The objective of this locally formed community group, set up in 2007, was to work in partnership with the then West Wiltshire District Council, owners of the Lake Pleasure Grounds (the town park) and Warminster Town Council to raise funding for any project which needed support whilst observing the traditional layout, features and equipment in the park. The group carried out consultations to garner the views of all users of the facilities whilst finding out what the priorities were, in the public’s view.

Back in 2007 four key priorities were highlighted by the public: return boats to the lake, provide a suitable café, and update the skatepark and tennis courts. The town park had suffered from a serious lack of investment and financial support was provided by the Friends Of Warminster Park and Warminster Town Council to assist with the provision of a café with the conversion of the old tennis pavilion and a youth shelter for the skatepark. The Friends of Warminster Park, at this time, was able to apply for grant funding where Warminster Town Council could not.

Through the local youth network, young people were encouraged to get involved in matters important to them in their own communities. The Skatepark Group was set up from the Warminster Youth Centre and they approached the authorities with a request to provide a new skatepark for the town to replace the existing outdated and irreparable facility. Young people were encouraged to research what kind of facility could be provided and establish the likely costs. This they did, by visiting skateparks in other towns, and inviting providers to their group meetings to work out a suitable site plan for the Lake Pleasure Grounds. The cost of a new facility was established initially at £200K. The Friends Of Warminster Park prepared and submitted a planning application to Wiltshire Council in February 2018 and permission was granted for the new skatepark.

What has now transpired is that submitting funding applications from a community group will not be enough and Warminster Town Council have agreed to take up this work to fulfil all necessary criteria, such as due diligence. A sum of
£31.3K has been handed to Warminster Town Council as a donation to the skatepark costs.

The outgoing Chairman of the Friends of Warminster Park, Bill Parks, said that “he was delighted to hear that Warminster Town Council have agreed the finance and supported the original plans to provide a skatepark which is
planned to be completed later this year.” He continued “This small community group had contributed and supported the main priorities originally identified by the public and were pleased to see a thriving café, boats back on the lake
and the tennis courts available for use, and I thank all of the volunteers who have been involved in this wonderful park.”