It’s been many years in the making but the first stage of the new Tenterfield Youth Precinct is nearly ready for action.
The entirely grant-funded project has been widely supported by Council and community alike and, with the skate park hoped to be completed in late June, locals can soon start to enjoy this reimagined public space. Tenterfield Shire Council Mayor, Bronwyn Petrie, is hugely excited to see this project come to life.
“We’ve had extensive community hardship over the last few years: drought, fires, floods, COVID restrictions.”
“Our community really wants and needs something positive like this to look forward to,” Mayor Petrie said.
The planning, funding, and building stage of this has now spanned across two Councils but Mayor Petrie tells us that, regardless, this is still something that almost all of the Council has been on board with from the very beginning.
“We all want a space for our youth to be able to enjoy themselves and to build those vital social connections.”
“These are the kinds of things that keep our young people happy, and out of trouble”, she says.
The Tenterfield youth have in fact been a huge driving factor in the whole process of the precinct.
“The kids were the ones that came and petitioned the last Council a few years ago,” says Mayor Petrie.
“They told us the little skate park we had wasn’t enough – they wanted more features, and more to do. So, we listened”.
The ball really got rolling in 2020 when Tenterfield Council was lucky in securing $2 million through the NSW Government’s Public Spaces Legacy Program.
“$250,000 of this went to Jennings for them to build a playground and exercise equipment, and the rest has gone towards the Youth Precinct,” Mayor Petrie said.
“We were also then successful in securing another $500,000 in grant money via the Streets as Shared Spaces Program, and another $900,000 in other community grants, which we will be pushing into the sister project at Jubilee Park.”
The hope is, once completed, both the Old Power House Reserve and Jubilee Park will become two halves of one whole.
The skate park, pump track, container cafe and yarning circle will be in the Old Powerhouse Reserve, and a full-sized basketball court will be constructed across the road in Jubilee Park. Other upgrades will include BBQ areas, extensive footpaths, solar lighting to encourage nighttime use and upgraded car parking.
“The planning around Crown Street was a little tricky as we knew the terrain there was awkward. But the engineers have done a fantastic job in working this to our advantage, so we know the whole park is going to be really useful in a number of different ways,” Mayor Petrie said.
Even the existing smaller skate park won’t go to waste, with the plans including repurposing the small skate park into a games area for the kids.
The Tenterfield youth community has continued to be an integral part of the planning process.
“From the beginning, we have made sure that the kids have been very involved in the community consultation process.”
“One of the things that we hear repeatedly is that there’s not enough for our kids to do in the area, so we really wanted to make sure that this was something that would be used for generations to come,” says Cr Petrie.
“We want this to be an interactive family area for young and old.”
Mayor Petrie also wished to extend her sincerest thanks to those involved in the project.
“I just want to say a huge congratulations to the planning staff and the engineering team for making all of this a possibility.”
When asked when the park will be open, Mayor Petrie tells us, if it all goes to plan, the first stages will be very soon.
“We are on track for an opening around the 24th of June for the first stage, including the skate park.”
“So, we hope to be able to plan a grand opening very soon and are already in talks with the skateboarding and cycling community to make sure we have some great stalls and exhibitions on show for the event.”
For more information about the new Youth Precinct and to stay updated about the official opening, please visit Tenterfield Shire Council’s Facebook page.
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