AN OFFICIAL launch event is being held to celebrate a state-of-the-art skate park.

The £220,000 facility in Lower Marine Parade, Dovercourt was completed at the end of last year after a seven-year battle for funding to replace the old rundown facility, which was built in 2002.

A group of skaters appealed to the council to refurbish the site, which they claimed was dangerous in the winter or when the metal ramps became slippery after it rained.

Harwich Town Council was granted planning permission for a major overhaul on the existing skate park site last August but it took months to get all the funding needed.

The park has been built by Maverick Industries on the same site, next to Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles, with hopes it will be a new top attraction for the town’s seafront.

The facility, which was opened in December last year, has been designed for skateboarders, in-liners, BMX and scooter riders.

It has an open bowl, driveway and street section and because it’s made of spray concrete, the facility can be used all year round. Jo Henderson, chairman of Harwich Town Council’s skate park working party, said she is really pleased the park is being used by youngsters.

She said: “For the launch there will be lots of young people there, and the community safety partnership.

“We are expecting a lot of people, but it is hard to say how many will come.

“We also get a lot of following from Maverick Industries and there are even people from Shotley, in Suffolk, who get the boat here as we have the newest skate park around. It was finished just before Christmas and it is all for young people and young adults to use for free.

“It has been used since the safety check was all done last year and it has been really well used.”

Funding for the new park also came from Sport England, developer’s contributions, Essex County Council, Tendring Council, Police and Fire Crime Commissioner and Tesco Bags of Help. An official launch of the new skate park will take place on April 14, with further details to be announced nearer the time.