A skateboarder.

Southend skateboarding and bike fans have been expressing their delight after the opening of the new skate park facility next to the Victoria Gateway shared space.

There was some concern during the recent works that the new benches and shrubbery areas wouldn’t be skater-friendly, but many have been spotted enjoying the new facilities. Miles Slipknot, 15, was one of the first skateboarders to try out the new multi-million pound facility and he was quick to give it his seal of approval.

He said, ‘The new seating areas are fantastic – the gaps between each small section may put some skateboarders off, but it just makes it all more extremer. The plants are great as well, and they are just about the right height to gather around with friends for a few hours and enjoy a Yazoo or three.’

‘They really have taken our needs into consideration with the new layout, and there is even an undercover area to skate in when it rains. I only have one small complaint here – people keep coming and sitting in the undercover area while they are waiting for buses to arrive.’

Local concrete analysts are predicting a 28% rise in wide paved areas throughout Southend by 2019, and a number of hooded sweatshirt retailers have already expressed an interest in moving into Southend High Street.