A GRANT of almost £10,000 to revamp a skatepark in memory of a pro skater from Walton could go to waste, it is feared.

Walton’s youth club successfully acquired £9,999 to upgrade and repair the skatepark in Walton and rename the park in honour of Ben Raemers. 

Ben, who was originally from Walton, became a professional skater for the Los Angeles company Enjoi in 2014. 

Sadly, he took his own life in 2019, leaving the Essex skate community devastated.  

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Skatepark - Walton Youth Club successfully gathered a £10,000 grant for the revamp, which could go

With the grant from Essex Active, the youth club wanted to have a new ramp installed, as well as repairs to the Tendring Council-owned park, which is leased to Frinton and Walton Town Council. 

In a proposal, the club stated: “Foremost among the benefits of this project is the creation of a safer and more inviting recreational space for local youth. 

“By installing a new ramp and addressing any existing issues with the skate park’s infrastructure, the project aims to mitigate safety concerns and reduce the risk of accidents or injuries. 

“This improvement is essential for ensuring that skateboarders and BMX riders of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the facility with confidence, thus promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles among the youth population.” 

During a Frinton and Walton Town Council meeting, a lengthy discussion took place following which the deputy clerk confirmed the funds could not be accepted by the council. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

It was argued that because the cash comes with conditions for the youth club to carry out the project on the council site, the authority could not accept the money. 

Walton councillor Ann Oxley said she was disappointed in the lack of support for the revamp.

She said: “I am disappointed that some Frinton and Walton town councillors see fit to refuse investment in a local facility

“I will continue to look at all avenues to ensure Walton gets the investment it needs and deserves.

"The skatepark would be a lasting memory for Ben Raemers, as he was a part of Walton's community."

As no consensus had been found on the matter, the council members agreed to adjourn the discussion to the following meeting on March 27.