THOUSANDS of pounds will be ploughed into a Bicester skate park for immediate repairs after the money needed for a complete replacement could not be found.

Bicester Town Council has been working with local skaters for more than a year to pull together an estimated £150,000 to replace deteriorating Bicester Skate Park.

But despite its best efforts to raise the cash, councillors have instead opted to use available funds of £25,000 to repair the structure due to safety fears.

At a meeting on Monday of Bicester Town Council environment committee councillor Debbie Pickford said "It is a tough one, we are torn between two decisions.

"But my first thought is what if somebody gets really hurt?

"I think we need to be responsible and I am leaning towards the £25,000 repairs as I don't believe the rest of the money is going to come that quickly.

"The best thing we can do is make it safe which will hopefully last for the next three or four years and it gives us time to find the finds for a replacement."

The project was originally brought forward to Bicester Town Council by the users of the skate park in Garth Park, with the help of Thames Valley Police Bicester neighbourhood officer Vicky Lees.

It was in response to complaints the police had been getting from residents about skaters in the town centre.

Town council officer Chris Johnson, who has been heading the project for the council, said the current state of the park is showing major wear and tear and the £25,000 would only patch up the current problems.

He added: "The £25,000 will take the skate park to an acceptable level but unfortunately that would not make any huge guarantees for the future."

Mr Johnson has been working over the past year to cost up skate park designs and look at funding options.

So far, Bicester Town Council had pledged £37,500 for the works, with Cherwell District Council promising £5,000 for every £1,000 raised by the skate park users.

The group of users have so far raised almost £500.

Mr Johnson also confirmed that grant funding applications had either been rejected or were still in process.

Speaking at the meetting councillor Lawrie Stratford said: "We don't know what might happen but even if we are still waiting on grant applications – it is still a lot of money to find.

"We need to something now.

"If we spend the £25,000 and then the money comes up at least we have done something right to avoid someone getting hurt in the meantime."