The second stage of a project which will provide youth with a range of fun outdoor activities is now underway.

The Eastside Youth Space is being constructed at Puketawhero Park.

Mokoia Community Association manager Leigh Richards-Ward says stage one-which included three new pieces of playground equipment-is now finished.

The next stage is looking at upgrading the skate area, construction of a half sized basketball court, some pump track re-formation and creation of the toddler bike area.

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There will also be concrete seating and footpaths.

Children gather at one of the fun, new pieces of playground equipment. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Children gather at one of the fun, new pieces of playground equipment. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Alongside these, a stage with mobility access is also being constructed. This structure will be large enough to accommodate bands, choirs and kapa haka groups, providing a venue for concerts and other forms of local entertainment.

Leigh says the Lions Club of Rotorua East are helping with the building of the stage, and Red Stag Timber and PermaPine have donated the wood.

She says the Lions Club is looking for people who would like to contribute to the building work.

Plans for the skate park area.
Plans for the skate park area.

"It's great to see local businesses getting behind a project that will benefit our youth and wider community."

The Mokoia Community Association is working alongside the Eastside Community Collective for this Youth Space and has had strong support from the Rotorua Lakes Council, she says.

She says there has been spaces made in the Western Heights, Mamaku, Fordlands and Koutu areas, with the Eastside youth waiting for theirs.

Leigh says they have spent the last couple of years discussing with the young people what their space could look like and talking with the community as well.

They held workshops with Eastside schools about what they would like to see and took young people out to other youth spaces. The group is still sourcing funding for picnic tables and barbecues, and they would love to hear from anyone who wants to help.

It is exciting to see all the work that has been done in the past coming together and isnice to now see something physical, Leigh says.

The Eastside Youth Space is expected to be completed at the end of June.

Leigh says the area will be fenced off for safety around the work site as this next stage progresses. The group says they hope the community will support this because the more support given, the quicker and easier it will be for the work to be completed, and the sooner they will be able to open the new facilities.

If anyone has any questions about the Eastside Youth Space, contact Leigh on (07) 345 5971 or (027) 345 5971.

Shauni James is the Rotorua Weekender reporter.