A proud mum is celebrating the opening of her son’s memorial skate park, declaring: “This is for you, Kieran.”
Kie Park – a state-of-the-art facility in Whitehaven for skateboards, scooters and BMXs – has been created in memory of 15-year-old Kieran Goulding.
And as the park opens to the public today (Saturday), Kieran’s mum Tracey Nicholson told the News & Star: “I miss Kieran every day – and this park is for him.”
The £250,000 park, on land off Richmond Hill Road, Hensingham, boasts BMX and scooter ramps, as well as a street-scene including beams for skateboarders.
The Friends of Kie Park group, including Tracey, her friend Lisa Macleod and a host of Kieran’s mates, have worked tirelessly to raise funds since Kieran’s tragic death in the Keswick School bus crash in 2010. Its opening comes as Kieran would have turned 21.
Tracey said: “We didn’t just want to create a memorial for Kieran; this is something active that Kieran would have loved. It is for everyone – Kieran’s friends and kids their age who can use this facility for years to come.
“There’s nothing nicer than seeing kids enjoying themselves in a safe environment.”
Lisa added: “It’s a fantastic achievement, and it’s brilliant to see Tracey’s goal come true.”
Fundraising is still ongoing for the annual maintenance and insurance costs for the park, and an official opening weekend is planned in July.
Stephen McDowell, chair of The Friends of Kie Park, said: “It’s great to see such a fantastic facility in Whitehaven that has been created towards such a worthy cause.
“I hope the residents of West Cumbria will get many years of enjoyment out of Kie Park and look forward to seeing it develop into a key asset of the community.”
The group extended thanks to the park’s funders, including Copeland Community Fund, WREN, Francis C Scott, Whitehaven Town Council, Cumbria police and crime commissioner, Home Group, Cumbria Community Foundation, Cumbria County Council and Hadfield Trust.
Stephen added: “We’d also like to thank Graves Ltd and the Gaiety Cinema for donating the bins, Metalwork Solutions at Carlisle for supplying the benches and Capalex at Cleator Moor for the plaque.”
The Gaiety cinema in Whitehaven is screening smash-hit film Guardians of the Galaxy on Sunday (5.30pm) with all tickets proceeds being donated to the fundraisers. Tickets are £6.50 (or £5 concessions) in person, on 01946 748507 or www.gaietycinema.co.uk.
And to donate to the Friends of Kie Park, visit www.mydonate.bt.com/charities/kiepark, or text KEEE03 £10 to 70070.