RESIDENTS in Taunton are calling for skating and other sports facilities that could benefit the whole town and become a community hub.

Jenny Eastwell-Keogh is proposing the idea of a skate park for the young people of Taunton who have not “much to do” growing up in the town.

Jenny’s son is a skater and she said he often has to travel to get suitable indoor facilities.

That’s why Jenny is now trying to propose the idea of a skate park to the community, something that could benefit the town as a whole and boost its economy.

A group of skaters, including Allan Adams, owner of Wave Games skate shop in the town centre, is supporting the idea too, and would welcome the facilities.

Somerset County Gazette:
Wave Games skate shop in Taunton town centre

Jenny said: “I have children who are growing up and there is not much to do in Taunton.

“There is nothing to keep them here. Taunton is great for school children and people who are retired but what happens to people in between? There’s not much to entertain them.

“My eldest son is a skater and quite often goes to Bristol or Cardiff to go to places where he can skate indoor.

“I am open to ideas. It would be great to have a big, flexible space, a big community space that could perhaps have other sports facilities. It could be a big project.

“There could be huge benefits, they are very diverse. Obviously, there could be jobs for the people running the centre, young people would have a space to do sports.

“It would be a great place for different generations and for all the South West. It would be a great way to bring visitors in Taunton and boost the economy on various levels.”

Jenny also highlighted the importance of this project with skateboarding being part of the Olympics.

“It is actually a sport,” she said, “in the past people thought it was teenagers causing troubles”.

Allan, 36, owner of Wave Games skate shop, said the idea is “something Taunton has been lacking for some time” and skaters need to travel to Minehead, Bristol, or Plymouth.

He also said: “Just after the Olympics and the pandemic, there has been a massive boom in skateboarding. There are people aged in their 30s and 40s getting back into it because their children are into it now. There are more females in the sports too.

“These places tend to become a bit of a community hub. If the community really wants it and we can come up with some help from the council and run it as a charitable organisation with volunteers, it’s an achievable goal.”

Jenny also said: “Looking forward, it would be nice to build up a generation of future skateboarders that could go to the Olympics.”