Giant skatepark dream dashed as site is lost
PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 May 2011
PLANS for a huge sports facility on an industrial park in Weston have fallen through.
The disappointed organisers behind Legend Skatepark, which has nearly 3,000 supporters on the social networking site Facebook, had high hopes of taking over a disused building in Winterstoke Road and transforming it into a new indoor attraction.
But despite their efforts, and securing enough money for the venture, the owners of the site leased it to another company.
The vision, tipped to be in the UK’s top 10 largest attractions of its kind if it was given the go-ahead, would have been a 55,000 sq ft community facility.
It would have contained climbing walls, dance and recording studios, BMX facilities, an internet suite and café - all just minutes from the town centre.
In January, organiser Nikki Stabbins, who has been championing the project, said the final negotiations were being made with the private landlord over the lease and if planning permission to change the building’s use to ‘leisure’ was granted by North Somerset Council, then it was full steam ahead.
But this week, addressing members on Facebook, a Legend Skatepark representative said: “We’ve been battling really hard for the building and I can assure you that we have done all that is possible.
“And we were willing to invest a great deal of money to secure this building.
“This is very disappointing, but is by no means an end for Legend Skatepark.
“Stay positive and together we will get there.”
The non-profit company had already received donations of ramps and offers of help to renovate the inside of the building.
The idea for the park came out of personal tragedy for Banwell resident and mum-of-three, Nikki.
In September 2009 Nikki’s 48-year-old husband, Simon, was killed on his way to a cricket match in a motorbike accident in which their 16-year-old son, BMX rider Ryan, was seriously injured.
Nikki set up the skatepark project to help young people in North Somerset and it was as a result of the accident involving her family that she has funds available to loan to the company.
A new location is now being sought. For more details visit the Indoor Skatepark in Weston Facebook page.