MORE than 3,500 of Inverell's youngest citizens are set to benefit from an exciting new youth space which will be constructed adjacent to the town's skatepark.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announced $89,000 in State Government fundingfor Inverell Shire Council to get the project underway.
Mr Marshall said the enhancement of the skatepark area would create a vibrant and welcoming space for young people to hang out and be active, including a new outside basketball court, bike track, graffiti wall and shade shelters.
"In any community its important our young people have an outdoor space of their own, where they can meet safety, be active and hangout," Mr Marshall said.
"Inverell skatepark is the perfect place for a development of this kind as it is easy to get to, with cycle paths connecting it to the CBD, and has plenty of open space for sport and activities.
"Council has some big plans for the area which include building a half-court basketball court and sculptural shade shelters with charging points for digital devices.
"Council wants this space to represent the unique ideas and diverse makeup of the Inverell community and to do that is building a mural wall which it will engage young artists to paint.
"In country NSW young people are our biggest assets and its important communities are constantly looking at what facilities and services they can put in place to encourage young people to remain, live and work instead of move away to the city."
Inverell Shire Deputy Mayor Anthony Michael said activating the skatepark area would bring huge social benefits for the community.
"Almost a third of Inverell Shire's population is aged between 15 and 24 years," Cr Michael said.
"We estimate around 3,500 people each year will engage with the park and take the opportunity to improve their health through activity and build relationships with their friends and community.
"I think this project is incredibly important to improving the wellbeing of our young people as it gives them a place where they can take ownership of and make their own. Council hopes to start work on the project next month."