Skaters and BMX riders have celebrated officially opening West Bridgford’s new skate park at The Hook in Lady Bay.
The £200,000 project from Rushcliffe Borough Council and Sport England and supported by Skate Nottingham, Supereight, Maverick Skateparks, RCAN and VIA East Midlands has been praised as the best in Nottinghamshire, and even the region, by some users.
Representatives from each organisation gathered on May 25 (Saturday) to open the park, view dedicated beginners, women and girls’ practice sessions and then watch all park users showing off their skills to hundreds who attended the event.
The facility replaced the former wooden structure which was damaged in 2017 and the remaining facilities were deemed unfit for purpose and lacking in value for the community.
The authority co-ordinated together partners in 2018 to assess how best to proceed with the project and construction was completed over 12 weeks earlier this year, 12 months before skateboarding becomes an Olympic sport at the 2020 games.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Debbie Mason said: “The site has benefited from a complete makeover with a new concrete structure and we’re delighted with the reaction from our partners, the skating community and park users to its new design.
“We hope the new facility is welcomed by skaters far and wide for years to come, in line with proposed improvements at other skate parks across the Borough.”
Sport England’s Libby Jones highlighted how the organisation’s Community Fund Asset programme played a crucial role in securing part of the funding of the project.
She said: “The initiative is dedicated to enhancing the spaces in your local community that give people the opportunity to be active, such as The Hook.
“There are a number of things we want to achieve with this investment, but most importantly we want to help local organisations to create good customer experiences and financially sustainable facilities.
“We want it to benefit their community for years to come which in an instance like this, may mean providing help to get things up and running too.
“While we will continue to invest in projects that help people get into sport and increase the number who are regularly taking part, we’re also looking to invest in projects that look beyond this to how sport and physical activity changes lives and becomes a force for social good.”
Chris Lawton from Skate Nottingham said the true partnership working from the project’s conception allowed for the creation of a site that local skaters now feel is their home again.
He said: “As an organisation we are committed to putting Nottingham and Nottinghamshire on the map in global skateboarding, with excellent community-designed facilities that are well-used all year round, providing spaces for young people and adults to be physically active in an informal, peer-supported setting.
“The Hook is one of the oldest skate facilities in the Nottingham area and Rushcliffe Borough Council’s commitment to engage with several generations of user groups has been really impressive.”
Nick Warman from local business Supereight.net has also been a key supporter of the project having had a long association with the park since the 1990s.
He said: “The Hook Skate Park has been a huge part of my life for 20 years. There is no other park in Nottinghamshire with the history and community atmosphere that we have in Lady Bay. This park has helped produce pro skaters like Alex Hallford and skate businesses like mine.
“When the last version of the park burnt down in 2017, we lost that sense of community and focal point that The Hook provided. The new park stays true to the original park’s set-up, whilst improving the design and quality of the park immeasurably.
“Thanks to Rushcliffe for giving our community our heart back. It will now continue to nurture the next generation and provide a great place to skate for years to come.”