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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Cumbrian schoolboys’ plans for BMX bike route on track

The determination of two Keswick schoolboys is beginning to pay off, as their dreams of a BMX track edge ever closer.

Keswick BMX photo
Adam Suddaby, left, and Thomas Slack

Thomas Slack, 13, and Adam Suddaby, 12, decided more than a year ago that Keswick lacked facilities for young people, and have been campaigning ever since.

This week, a planning application for a BMX track in Fitz Park, Keswick, was submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority.

Initially the two Keswick School boys had approached Keswick town councillors about the possibility of creating a skate park.

At the time, Thomas told the News & Star: “A lot of my friends have been chased away by police from jumps that they have set up themselves in certain areas of the town. It’s something that we need and would provide us a safe place to go.”

However, the pair were ultimately told the amount of concrete required would not be eco-friendly.

Sad but undeterred, Thomas and Adam went away and realised that a BMX track – built with dirt, crushed stone and topsoil – might be possible.

Keswick Town Council agreed, and suggested land within Fitz Park. As the council are the sole trustees of the Fitz Park charitable trust, councillors referred the proposals through to a trust meeting for discussion.

Lynda Walker, secretary of both the council and the Fitz Park trust, explained: “The trust agreed it was a good idea and a facility we would like to provide for young people and early teens in Keswick, because there isn’t anything really anything near by.”

Adam and Thomas have had collection boxes stationed in various shops and businesses and held a range of fundraising events, as they aim to raise the £35,000 needed to build the track.

They are being supported by Keswick Town Council and Groundwork North East and Cumbria, which are helping apply for grants and funding.

Mrs Walker added: “We are still in very early stages, but a lot of the major funding sources will not consider grants until planning permission has been given.

“We are optimistic it should be passed, and then we can start applying for the major grants.”

For more information on the boys’ plans, search for Keswick BMX on Facebook.

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