A SKATEPARK could be in line for a major investment after talks between the town council and the landowner took a step forward.

Prudhoe Town Council is keen to invest more than £100,000 in the town’s Highfield skatepark, but landowner Northumberland Estates had only offered a ten-year extension on the lease for the site. The current lease has six years to run.

This put the project in jeopardy, as it meant grants would be harder to apply for and the council wanted to be sure that the taxpayer would be getting a good deal on such a large investment.

The issue was debated at Prudhoe Town Council’s planning meeting last Wednesday.

Resident Gary Newton, whose son Josh became an internet sensation thanks to his skating skills, spoke of the town’s need for upgraded skate ramps.

He said: “We go all over the country with Josh’s skating and it’s such a shame that the skatepark in Prudhoe is so outdated.

“It’s such a well used space, but it’s more than 20 years old. It would be excellent for Josh if he had somewhere in his home town where he could progress, rather than travelling to the likes of Newcastle.

“We travel a lot and we always find a park, and Prudhoe’s is probably the worst one.”

The councillors agreed that the park needed updating, but said that they would need to renegotiate with Northumberland Estates to try to get a longer lease.

And on Tuesday, the estates agreed an extension of 14 years, giving a 20-year lease overall.

Prudhoe’s Mayor, Coun. Tracy Gilmore, said it was a step in the right direction.

She said: “It’s still a negotiation. It still has to go back to full council and be agreed, but it’s a step in the right direction. If we’re going to spend that amount of money, it has to be the best value for the taxpayer. We have to make sure we have some security.”