Options considered for Newbridge skatepark

A number of approaches have been made to Newbridge Town Council with the aim of develop skateboarding facilities in the town.

A number of approaches have been made to Newbridge Town Council with the aim of develop skateboarding facilities in the town.

The merits and otherwise of the approaches were discussed at the Town Council meeting last Tuesday evening, March 13.

One of the approaches was from a commercial entity while the other was made from somebody who is involved in setting up similar, public, facilities in Athy.

It was felt that LEADER funding could be considered for that particular avenue, although the councillors were cautioned that there was no guarantee LEADER funding was available.

LEADER funding is a government scheme which supports entrepreneurs or community groups setting up services in rural areas.

“I’ve spoken to Stephen Fahy (the man involved),” Cllr. Paddy Kennedy explained.

“There’s nothing he doesn’t know about skating.”

Cllr. Spike Nolan suggested that the members contact Athy Town Council for advice on how to proceed, “given that they’re so far ahead of us on this”.

Commenting on the commercial option Cllr. Willie Hamilton remarked that it was his understand that the council “doesn’t have a bean”.

Referring to the €100,000 the commercial option had asked for, he noted: “We wouldn’t have €100,000 or two cents.”

Cllr. Kennedy reiterated his support from Stephen Fahy.

It was agreed that the matter would be put back to the April meeting of the council for further discussions to take place and clarity.

However town manager and Director of Services Thomas Hunter McGowan cautioned the assumption that leader funding would be available.

Cllr. Fiona O’Loughlin agreed with him. “There’s an assumption that there’s lots of money in LEADER and people getting excited when they hear about it.”

“There isn’t really a leisure strand in LEADER,” Mr. Hunter McGowan noted.