PLANS for the long-awaited Lyme Regis skatepark development have taken a step forward as the project goes out to tender.

The proposed work got the go ahead when the town council committed to spend up to £150,000 on the development, which will be located at the Charmouth Road car park, and, after inviting expressions of interest for the project, the council is now inviting bids for the contract to design and build the park.

Coun Lucy Campbell, who has been a vociferous campaigner for the facility, said: “After such a fantastic result with the council committing £150,000 last year, we have moved quite quickly in the last month to progress the project and we are now at a stage of going out to formal tender. It is great to see the council pulling together with such a majority voting in favour of the funding. The project has become much more of a reality now we have got the budget for it.

“Without the money we would still be several years away, but this is now a project that is likely to be complete in the very near future.

“Within the tender documents we have set some realistic but firm time schedules that the successful contractor must adhere to so that this project isn’t held up and the contractor would have to meet a series of deadlines to make sure it happens.”

The deadline for tender bids is March 5 and an extraordinary full council meeting has been called for Wednesday, March 26 at 6.30pm for councillors to consider the tenders and choose a preferred contractor.

Coun Campbell said: “We are really keen that the project maintains momentum, which is why we are holding a special meeting of the council to help move the process along.”

The project has also been boosted by the efforts of the community-led Skatepark Fundraising Committee, which has raised more than £11,000 in a year through various fundraising activities.

Committee secretary Cheryl Reynolds is delighted that the scheme is moving ahead.

She said: “I think it’s wonderful this project is finally coming to fruition after almost 50 years.

“The skatepark is good for the town, good for the council and even better for the kids.

“The committee is pleased that our efforts will help provide the youth of this town with this much-anticipated facility.”