MELKSHAM Skatepark is to be extended to make it bigger as the facility has been so popular with local youngsters.

The extension was announced by Cllr Jonathon Seed, Chairman of the Melksham Area Board, and James Threlfall, a local skateboarder who was instrumental in lobbying Wiltshire Council to provide the skatepark.

They have already begun to explore sources of funding and have already received pledges of support, including one from Melksham Town Council.

Cllr Seed said: “I’m really pleased to be working with James Threlfall on extending the skatepark in Melksham.

"James received an MBE in this year’s new year honours for services to young people, he has helped to bring skateboarding to young people all over Wiltshire and worked tirelessly to get the original skatepark in Melksham built."We are actively looking for funding now so that we can push ahead with extending the skatepark and support to skatepark users with a both half pipe feature and community outreach support.

Cllr Seed added: "One of the reasons I began working with James in 2012 is that he is passionate about finding activities for young people to do outside of school time.

"He and I both know that youngsters need things to do and places to hang out. Providing a safe space for young people in Melksham to use, to be active and to meet other skateboarders is really important in our community.

"We will also be taking the opportunity to liaise with local police to ensure that antisocial behaviour at the skatepark, including drug taking, is dealt with robustly.

"I’m delighted that several potential funding avenues have already opened up - local organisations including Melksham Town Council have pledged their support to raising the money that we need and I look forward to another successful project for Melksham young people being delivered.”

Mr Threlfall said: “Jonathon and I met on Monday to discuss how we would go about extending the park as it has been so successful.

"The kids who come here and the ones who come here in the future will really benefit from the changes that I’ve proposed, to challenge their skating and give them more variety.

"We are now looking for funding and I feel confident that we will be able to raise the money we need. Once the plans are drawn up we will make sure they are available for people to see so they know what’s coming.

"Jonathon is keen that we use the skatepark as a focal point for young people in the town and from the surrounding area to keep fit, socialise and work on their skills and I can’t wait to get started on this next phase.”