The dream of having a skate park in Braidwood has now turned into reality.
After years of the campaign, funding to the tune of over $680,000 for the construction of the skate park has been awarded at the Braidwood Recreation Ground.
Several community groups including Youth Citizens of Braidwood, Braidwood Youth Performing Arts Association (BYPAA) and the Braidwood Community Association (BCA) have been working tirelessly to secure funding for the project.
BYPAA president Annie Duke said the community has fought long and hard to have a skate park in town.
"Having the required funding awarded to this project is a gratifying recognition of how significant and important it is to our whole community, and especially to our youth and families," she added.
The application for funding of the proposed Braidwood Skate Park was submitted by the BYPAA in partnership with the BCA's Youth Activities Subcommittee (BCA-YAS) and QPRC.
"Our joint efforts have been awarded and as part of Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLERF), we have received a funding of $680,660 to construct the skate park," Catherine Bell, BCA-YAS committee head said.
The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Package is one part of the $4.5 billion overarching bushfire support program co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Brodie Parsons feels that the funding allocation is an important development for the local youths.
"We have had an opportunity to give our inputs regarding how the skate park should be and we would like to it come to fruition. Some of my skate mates would love to hang out with us at a skatepark we helped design and build," he said.
The community has banded together to support the project for the past several years. BYPAA had received 87 letters of support from the community and had raised funds over $6000 for the application.
The design for the skate park was reviewed by the local youths along with BYPAA and BCA-YAS members before the final proposal was sent for tender.
"The contributions of these youths throughout this long campaign will enable local skaters, now and in future, to learn and be active in a safe place that will challenge and reward them," Annie Duke said.
"We are grateful that Braidwood is the kind of town that will back these kids and pull together to show them how valued they really are."