'BOARD' youngsters could have an exciting new play area if businesses in Jarrow get their skates on and dig into their pockets.

Thousands of pounds are needed to transform a disused area into a state-of-the-art skateboarding park.

The site is next to Queen's Road day centre and already boasts a new basketball court and football goals.

Now community beat manager PC Julian Mason, who regularly works with youngsters in the Bede and Jarrow areas, is urging businesses to help fund the dream park.

He said it is an ideal opportunity for them to put something back into the community.

"I am making a plea for cash because I think this is an ideal venture to give something back to the younger generation.

"The kids here are crying out for a skateboard park. It could have huge benefits, not only to those who would use it, but also towards reducing crime and the fear of crime in surrounding areas.

"Businesses need to dig deep in to their pockets. We want to display a huge sign thanking all the sponsors which will be on view from the main road."

Up to 20,000 is needed to transform the area and already donations are coming in.

The scheme is a joint venture between Northumbria Police and South Tyneside Council and has already sparked a great deal of interest.

St Paul's Residents' Association has pledged its support, as have other residents around Queen's Road, High Street and Saxon Way.

Any businesses interested in the scheme should contact PC Mason at Hebburn Police Station on 454 7555, extension 65259.