Brighton park The Level reopens after restoration

The Level renovations Finishing touches were still being made to the skatepark on Friday morning

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A Brighton park is partially reopening after a £2.3m restoration so residents and visitors to the city can use its facilities during the school holidays.

The south end of The Level, which includes the children's play area, fountains, sensory gardens and a new skatepark, is reopening later.

A new cafe and the north lawns will open in September.

A police community hub is also opening to combat anti-social behaviour previously seen at The Level.

The 8.5 acre park, which originally opened in 1822, was closed for refurbishment last October.

Sussex Police Insp Justin Burtenshaw said the police hub would be permanently manned by PCSOs and officers.

"We are here to make sure this is a safe place for everybody to enjoy, whether it's the skate park or the café or the gardens," he said.

"There are going to be a lot of young people in this park and people from all different backgrounds and we want them to be completely comfortable when speaking to a PCSO or a police officer."

Artist's impression of The Level restoration When complete the restoration will include new planting, landscaping and an art installation

Lee Skiffinton, chair of Brighton and Hove Skatepark Association, said the opening meant "the world" to members.

"It has been 15 years in the making," he said.

"The old Level was a bit run-down but we have got a whole lifetime of skateboarding ahead of us now.

"The Level was one of the very first outdoor concrete public skate parks in the whole of the UK so it's got some serious skateboarding heritage."

Brighton and Hove City Council received a £2.2m National Lottery grant, along with £150,000 from Sport England and £50,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust to develop the park.

It said that despite the renovation not yet being complete, it wanted to open the recreation facilities for the summer holidays.

"Previously The Level was tired, underused and in need of investment and many people simply didn't go there," said Councillor Pete West,

"Now I think it is one of the best parks for miles around."

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