A PETITION signed by 45 people threatens to put a spoke in plans for a £60,000 indoor BMX and skate park in Blackburn due to open later this year.

The first in the borough, it aims to become a regional centre for the sports, attracting thousands of enthusiasts However, local residents who use the gym at the Blackburn Rovers Sports Arena building, near Darwen Vale School, have objected to its use for the development.

They have submitted a 45 signature petition to Blackburn with Darwen council’s executive board calling for the fitness suite to be kept open.

The academy was built at a cost of £1.4million in 2007 with a grant from the Football Foundation.

The multi-purpose stadium will be used by hundreds of youngsters a week on BMX bikes, skateboards, roller blades and scooters making up to 50,000 visits a year.

Local enthusiasts have welcomed the skatepark plan but the gym users believe they should still be able to use the building to keep fit and asked for their plea to be forward to the BRSA management and sponsors.

Efforts to contact the lead petitioners and persuade them to drop their objections have failed and the executive board will consider the document when it meets on Thursday.

The item before councillors says there have been discussions with all directors of the company BRSA Ltd and the Football Foundation in relation to future use.

It adds: “The changing financial landscape means that all three partners have to review their ability to sustain ongoing financial support for BRSA in its current sports hall and gym format. The proposed skate park meets an identified gap in local leisure provision.

“A d petition signed by 125 young people was used as the starting point for this piece of work.”

Borough leisure boss Damian Talbot said: “We think this is the best use for the building which is currently very lightly used.

“We are working with patrons of the gym to use the new gym at Darwen Vale school less than 200 yards away. The Football Foundation and Blackburn Rovers, are happy with the new use.

“It will go ahead.”