Following the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, when Sky Brown became Great Britain’s youngest ever summer medalist, Nottingham’s large skateboarding community will benefit from almost £10,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
The funding will help deliver a multi-venue, 7-day festival of skate culture alongside an ongoing programme to transform outdoor spaces and improve young people’s mental health.
Significant additional support has been kindly provided by the award-winning financial services company Habito and the UK Science Festivals Network through local charity Ignite Futures.
Social enterprise Skate Nottingham CIC are hosting the ‘Skateboarding in the City’ (SITC) festival from Monday 27th September until Sunday 3rdOctober.
Activities will be free to participants of all ages and will include designing and building skateable installations, screen-printing workshops with local creatives Dizzy Ink, outdoor skate jams and social events, filming and screening skate videos, and panel discussions on mental health, gender inclusion and public spaces.
The festival will be hosted in multiple venues, which will include the contemporary cross-media venue Metronome and the artist-run Backlit Gallery (both located in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter), as well as Flo Indoor Skatepark – who will host the ‘Nottingham Open’ skate competition on Saturday the 2nd of October, with cash prizes up for grabs.
This is the second iteration of the SITC festival. The first, also funded by The National Lottery Community Fund in summer 2019, attracted almost 700 skaters to Nottingham, including a team from Tampere, Finland, and was featured in both mainstream and skate media worldwide.
This year’s festival will build on an ongoing programme of suicide prevention training for Nottingham’s skateboard coaches and mentors with The Ben Raemers Foundation.
It will also contribute to the development of an innovative skate-friendly space at Sussex Street, adjacent to the new Nottingham College City Hub, supported by Habito, which is linked to their wider support of UK skateboarding through their sponsorship of Skateboard GB, the National Governing Body.
In Nottingham, this will support the creation of skateable forms, which will be designed and constructed with local young people alongside leading skatepark builders.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, will enable Skate Nottingham to work with excellent venues, all with the capability to adapt to the changing situation with COVID-19, and a wide range of local and international creatives.
It will help young people and adults to come together to learn new skills and spend time doing the things they love, whilst contributing to Nottingham’s recovery from the pandemic.
Simon Bernacki, co-founder of Skate Nottingham CIC, said:
“We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has continued to recognize our amazing community in this way.
“The 2019 Skateboarding in the City festival was a huge success.
“This new grant – alongside kind support from Habito Mortgages and the UK Science Festivals Network – will enable us to ensure that the 2021 festival strongly contributes to Nottingham’s creative and community-led recovery from COVID-19, and gives a whole new generation of young people, as well as older adults, new opportunities and raised aspirations.”
James Hope-Gill, Chief Executive Officer of Skateboard GB, said:
“We’re hugely supportive of this project in Nottingham. Projects like this have an essential role in ensuring a strong legacy from British skateboarders’ recent Olympic success in Tokyo.
“The provision of innovative spaces and activities at a grassroots level will raise awareness of skateboarding across all communities, opening up new routes for children and adults to get active, especially those not engaged by traditional sports.”