Proposals to redevelop the skate park in Bath’s historic Royal Victoria Park are progressing well with support from potential users.
Bath & North East Somerset Council has awarded the contract for re-design and build of the park to Bristol-based Canvas Spaces.
Strong input on what the skate park will look like and the appointment of the contractor has come from skate park users at drop-in consultation events and through a user design panel made up of eight skateboarders, BMX riders, scooter riders and roller-bladers, ranging in age from 15 to 50 plus.
The panel scrutinised the submissions, quizzed prospective designers and voted on their favourite designs at the end of August. The panel later met the contractor to agree amendments to the initial project designs.
Local BMX rider Ollie Derrick said: “I’ve been involved for a long time in the discussion about re-developing the skate park. It’s exciting being able to challenge prestigious skate park designers and share ideas collectively as a group – old and new faces working together creates a sense of community. It’s very important to have users involved; in the past, some of the obstacles have been put into the skate park with limited involvement from the users of the space but now the alliance between the Council and users has created a real confidence in the process and a better respect for the Council.”
The proposed new design will continue to accommodate all small-wheeled sports such as skateboarding, BMX-riding, scooter riding and rollerblading / skating. It will incorporate concrete bowls sunk into the ground which replicate the current large ramps in the park; this offers more ‘street’ features and a better ‘flow’ of continuous ride lines.
Councillor David Dixon, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “It was clear that the skate park needed investment – it hasn’t been updated for 20 years. It’s been great having this panel of riders working with us and the skate park designers to complete the detail of the design so that the park can best meet the needs of all riders. The proposals are still in the early stages and are subject to full planning permission being granted but already potential users are excited about the initial designs they’ve seen.”
Scooter rider Nathan, aged 15, said he loves the new design, adding: “I love the bowl being proposed. And I love being involved in the process of helping to shape the design.”
BMX rider, Ben Pearson, said: “As one of the older users of Bath skate park, I think it’s fantastic that Bath could get a facility of which the city can be proud.”
Planning permission for the redesign will be submitted at the beginning of November. If successful it is anticipated that work will be completed by the end of April 2015.