N-Dubz's Fazer brings jackpot to Dartford skate park
PUBLISHED: 10:13 17 October 2012
David Parry / PA Wire
He is best known for being part of urban trio N-Dubz but now Fazer has helped win £100,000 of investment for skate parks, and Dartford is getting a slice of it.
The windfall comes from Transform Your Patch, a campaign by regeneration charity Groundwork to improve outdoor spaces across the UK.
Four celebrities took part, each representing a different project; Fazer, real name Richard Rawson, championed skate parks, footballer Robbie Savage supported 5-a-side pitches, presenter Emma Willis was for parks and picnic areas and actress Denise Van Outen backed playgrounds.
Over nine months the public voted for projects to receive funding - the skate park in Central Park being one of them – and Fazer’s cause came out on top.
Dartford is one of 12 skate parks that will share the jackpot – just under £8,500 each.
The rapper visited Dartford’s skate park to bestow the prize money on it.
Fazer said: “When I was a kid I used to hang out at the skate park with my mates all the time.
“Along with music, it was one of my passions so I’m pleased to be able to give something back.
“Skate parks are an important part of the community, giving young people a place to practice a hobby together with their mates. “
The money will go towards extending the skate part, which was first built five years ago and has already had around £160,000 invested in it.
If first opened in 2007 with a state-of-the-art skate bowl and plaza, which was extended after two years.
However the facilities have always been tailored towards the experienced skaters and cyclists, which is something Groundwork wanted to remedy.
“The problem has always been that the park takes a level of expertise to skate, so the third phase is to help starters and build a nursery slope,” said Ian Martin, manager at Groundwork Kent and Medway.
It was thanks to an “engaged group of young people from the skating community” that the Dartford park was chosen, he says, with the aim being to keep the park running in the long term.
Investing in the skate park is also a way of tackling the issue of skateboarders using the town centre.
“When the park wasn’t there, kids were skating in the town centre and were a nuisance. The skate park replicated street scenes for people to use instead,” Ian says.
It is a close-knit community down at the park. Ian tell me the skaters regulate it themselves, sweeping it and draining the water that collects in the ramps.
Winning this money takes them one step closer to transforming this patch into a sustainable project for future generations.