As part of the wider development of the public realm around Broad Marsh which has been designed by Townshend Landscape Architects, a ‘skateboard friendly’ space has been constructed.
Since its completion before Christmas, it has seen daily use from 100s of local young people and visitors to Nottingham.
The design of the skateboarding space has been led by Skate Nottingham, a local non-profit working with Townshend and Nottingham City Council to ensure it is an inclusive space which blends into and complements the wider public area around Sussex Street and is welcoming to other user groups.
The area also features an ever-changing free graffiti wall.
Tram Line Spot, the ‘skate friendly’ section of the space, was developed through a two-year participatory design programme engaging Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham College students along with more than 300 local skateboarders and other skatepark users.
Over the last 12 months, Skate Nottingham fundraised to make these designs a reality.
A Crowdfunder UK campaign raised almost £17,000 from 236 individual donors and a match-funding contribution from Sport England and a generous donation from Rock City and DHP Family.
Additionally, the project received a grant from Skateboard GB, the National Governing Body.
This enabled Norwegian skatepark specialists Betongpark, responsible for the recent renovation of Brixton Beach, Stockwell, to create unique steel ‘skateable sculptures’.
Skate Nottingham volunteers worked through December alongside Betongpark and the city’s main contractors, Thomas Bow, to complete the space, and have since brought it to life with a free programme of regular workshops, skate sessions and events funded by a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.
On Sunday 2 April, this will be celebrated with a free public opening jam at the skate space, co-hosted with international brand DC Shoes and local online skate shop Supereight, with £1,000 in cash prizes for the best tricks alongside giveaways and a chance to skate with DC’s sponsored team members Josh Arnott, Sam Pulley, Harrison Woolgar and Dave Snaddon.
The jam will run from 1 pm until 5 pm and will be preceded by a free beginners’ coached skateboard session (ages 7+) from 10.30 am until 12.00 pm, with helmets and skateboards available on loan.
This event will open an exciting year for skateboarding in Nottingham. Recent Nottingham Forest international signing, Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Scarpa, frequently shares his love of skateboarding with his 1.3 million Instagram followers, and it will be exciting to see him at Tram Line Spot after the football season ends.
Skate Nottingham has recently received news of further support from Sport England, with an award from the National Lottery-backed Small Grant programme that will fund 10 months of free coached sessions for different under-represented groups, including women and girls, alongside a free talent coaching programme for a small cohort of high potential young people, including those from lower-income backgrounds.
Some of this activity will take place at Tram Line Spot, whilst other sessions will be delivered in Sneinton and St Ann’s, including Brendon Lawrence Sports Centre and the small skatepark at King Edward Park, in partnership with the Renewal Trust.
The ground-breaking research into the experiences of women and girls who skateboard, led by Nottingham Trent University and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is providing important insight for all these programmes.
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