Skaters, scooter riders and BMXers are celebrating as Rushcliffe Country Park’s new skate park is now open!
The £210,000 project has been funded by Rushcliffe Borough Council and supported by Skate Nottingham, Canvas Spaces, and VIA East Midlands.
It has been praised as another landmark facility in the county as a street course which has been designed to blend into a country park setting that can meet the needs of future Olympic skateboarders and BMXers whilst being inclusive to beginner riders and the differently abled.
Representatives from each organisation gathered today (June 11) to open the park and test out the new features before a grand opening event is planned later this summer when COVID restrictions allow.
The facility replaced the former wooden structure which was in need of refurbishment and the Council developed the project alongside Skate Nottingham, science education charity Ignite! Futures and Nottingham Trent University.
They involved 110 young people in co-designing the new facility through a series of workshops and by work experience during the construction phase.
These were attended by local 11 to 18-year-olds, as well as older skaters and BMXers, facilitated by academic experts in architecture, engineering and sports science and mentored by university students, all supported by a grant from UK Research and Innovation.
The Council co-ordinated together partners last year to assess how best to proceed with the project and construction was completed over 12 weeks in the winter and spring, just weeks before skateboarding features as an Olympic sport for the first time at this year’s games in Tokyo, with Great Britain to be represented by two young women skaters.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan said: “This wonderful new site has benefited from a complete makeover with a new concrete structure and we’re delighted with the initial reaction from our partners in the project and skaters and BMXers alike.
“It will also enable regular users to develop their skills through planned coaching, mentoring and competitions and larger scale summer programmes to create a destination site for day visits from across the region.
“We hope the new facility is welcomed by skaters far and wide for years to come.”
Developed initially in December 2013, the Skate Park forms part of a larger amenity area within the park and is one of the most popular features in the area and is visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Chris Lawton from Skate Nottingham and Skateboard GB, the National Governing Body for skateboarding, said another great skating facility in Rushcliffe is the result of true partnership working from the project’s conception that allowed for the creation of a site that local skaters can now make their own.
He said: “This skatepark is exciting because it was co-designed with users, with elements of work experiences and other training and learning. We worked hard to ensure the user group represented women and girls, people from low-income households and both younger and older users.
“Nationally, the new skatepark at Rushcliffe will be an important case study for accessible and inclusive spaces as well as achieving lasting social and economic benefits locally.”