Peaky Blinders actor supports new £200,000 skatepark in Finsbury Park
- Credit: PA
Plans to quadruple the size of Finsbury Park's skate park are going full steam ahead, after a fund raising drive generated £45,000 towards the project - and even Peaky Blinders actor Paul Anderson has supported the cause.
Dressed as the lead character Arthur Shelby, who he plays in the BBC Two hit TV series, Anderson has released a video telling people that "a donation is necessary by order of the Peaky Blinders".
"I skate and all my friends do and it's a great thing to do," he adds, playing the role of the gangster from post-First World War Birmingham.
The existing skatepark is not big enough to cope with demand, and at busy times, users often have to wait for a turn meaning they aren't getting the most out of the facility provided.
Campaigners from the community group Friends of Finsbury Park are now looking to raise £100,000 and Haringey Council has agreed to match fund the total and lead the final build.
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So far Sport England has donated £10,000, British Cycling has given £15,000, and £5,000 came from a skate-a-thon over the summer holidays, which saw 20 kids do sponsored laps of the park on skateboards, BMX and scooters.
Now they want to generate another £50,000 through grants and sponsorship, and are already in discussions with businesses.
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Beth Anderson who is leading the drive told the Gazette: "It's been quite a journey - we've had donations from local businesses, a huge 'skateathon' event, support from the cast of Peaky Blinders and local artists.
"It's been a real community drive."
She added: "The more we raise the better the park we can build.
"There is nothing like this in the area so it will be very much putting Finsbury Park and Haringey on the Skatepark map.
"We would also like to run free skate lessons going forward and to be included in the councils summer sports lessons in school holidays.
"Skateboarding and BMXing are such great sports for physical and mental health and will benefit the area immensely.
"For every pound spent in the public realm on community projects for all ages, especially young people, will save hundreds from the NHS, crime and social services in the future."
Bespoke landscape designer for skateboarding and rolling activities, Betongpark, has already come up with design, but the council will eventually have three companies including Betong pitch for it.
Public consultations will be run with the council on the final design.