FARNBOROUGH'S skateboarders and BMX riders are celebrating a £91,000 grant from Sport England for the town's new skatepark.

The massive vote of confidence in the sports comes on top of an initial investment of more than £78,000 by Rushmoor Council.

Simon Venn, Rushmoor's skatepark project manager who spent ten months putting the bid together, said: "This is fantastic news for Rushmoor, and although it has involved a lot of hard work to get this far it is the icing on the cake in what is turning out to be a very rewarding project."

The skatepark will cost £175,000 in total. The £91,141 grant, from Lotto-backed Sport England, was supplemented by grants and sponsorship from Hampshire Playing Fields Association, Rushmoor Community Safety Partnership and Farnborough skate shop Swivel. Between them they contributed another £5,500 to the project.

Work on the park has already begun and Simon hopes that everything will be ready to roll in time for the official opening on September 8.

"The skatepark will be one of a kind as we have spent a long time in finding out exactly what the users require in order to ensure we meet all their sporting needs," said Simon.

As if to prove the point, Rushmoor has had inquiries from local authorities in Liverpool, Sunderland and Scotland wanting to learn about Rushmoor's successful formula.

Crucially the project has won the support of the people who will use it.

Farnborough's skateboarding fraternity, Fboro Massive and the newly-formed Regiment 36, have welcomed the development.

Regiment 36's chairman Ian Munns said: "This project has been a working partnership from the start and all the users are grateful to Rushmoor Borough Council, Sport England and all the other partners in helping to deliver what we hope will be a flagship skatepark in the south-east."

Mr Venn believes the park is certain to be a success because the council took advice from Farnborough skateboarders on what they want. He also said that attention to detail, landscaping and CCTV would make the park a cut above the rest.

Sport England development manager Paul Wheeler said: "The Farnborough skatepark project represents an excellent example of a local authority and a youth community group working together."

Cllr David Clifford, who has been heavily involved in the project from the start, said: "The skatepark will not only engage young people in physical activity but also provide a foundation for those working to achieve excellence in sport."