Boys celebrate successful Burton Latimer skate park campaign

  • By Ollie Conopo
  • BBC News, Northamptonshire

Image source, Ollie Conopo/BBC

Image caption, Jamie Neyland (left) and Alfie Brown (right) said it was “absolutely fantastic” to see the new branch in Burton Latimer

A couple of teenage boys said it was “absolutely fantastic” that a skate park they were campaigning for was opening.

Alfie Brown and Jamie Neyland, both 13, launched their bid for the park in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, two years ago and collected “thousands” of signatures in support of the plan.

They took their petition to a council meeting and the facility is now open at the King George V Recreation Ground.

The city’s previous skate park was targeted by arsonists in 2019.

Alfie said they took action after becoming frustrated at having to travel five miles to Irthlingborough to ride their scooter.

“It’s absolutely amazing. I never thought we’d be here now and I’m so happy,” he said.

“People thought it would be good for the community to have something different in Burton (Latimer) because it’s just parks.”

The skate park, which costs around £45,000, features a double halfpipe.

Jamie said: “I thought they (the council) wouldn’t build one because the last one burned down. We went to local shops to try and get as many signatures as possible from people to support our petition.”

Image source, Ollie Conopo/BBC

Image caption, Alfie’s father Steve Brown said the boys deserved high praise for their community campaign

Alfie’s father, Steve Brown, said he was “immensely proud” of the boys.

“They were convinced they wanted to get something here,” he said.

“They just kept going, kept going and it’s great to see the end result.”

Image source, Ollie Conopo/BBC

Image caption, Councilor Murray Scott said city planners were impressed by the passion the boys showed at a council meeting when they presented their idea

Murray Scott, member of Burton Latimer Town Council, said: “We first met the boys when they were 11 years old and came to a full council meeting to present their thoughts.

“They put forward a pitch worthy of Dragon’s Den and as they left the room we clapped for them and simply said we had to help them achieve what they wanted to do.

“We allocated the funding, but it was the support they received from the community that pushed the whole thing through. It shows what teamwork can achieve.”