Major indoor skatepark - first phase ready by spring

A HUGE indoor skatepark set to open in Weston this year could see the first phase of the development completed by the spring.

Tipped to be in the UK’s top 10 largest attractions of its kind, the 55,000 sq ft community facility, which will include climbing walls, dance and recording studios, BMX facilities, an internet suite and caf�, will be just minutes from the town centre, in Winterstoke Road.

Organiser Nikki Stabbins, who is championing the project, said the final negotiations are being made with the private landlord over the lease and if planning permission to change the building’s use over to ‘leisure’ is granted by North Somerset Council, then it is full steam ahead.

In a bid to let people use the facility as soon as possible, once and if change of use is granted by the unitary authority, ramps will be moved in straight away this spring, with the other facilities being added along the way.

No changes need to be made to the building’s outer structure and the project already has enough money to get it started – but an appeal is still being made for traders to step up and help with fittings.

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Nikki, aged 42, said: “This is a really exciting and much needed facility, not just for people in Weston but the whole of North Somerset and the South West.

“It will be a temporary six-month lease at first and we have enough money to make the building safe and have the basics done such as fitting the toilets, but we are appealing to people such as electricians and carpenters for help.”

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The non-profit company has already received donations of ramps.

The idea for the park came out of personal tragedy for the Banwell mum-of-three.

In September 2009 Nikki’s 48-year-old husband, Simon, was killed on his way to a cricket match in a tragic motorbike accident in which their 16-year-old son, BMX rider Ryan, was seriously injured.

Nikki, who used to work in the leisure industry, set up the skatepark to help young people in North Somerset and beyond and as a result of the adversity, has funds available to loan the company.

Skatepark user and project volunteer, 27-year-old Max Page, from Churchill, said: “There are no indoor skateparks around here so people have to travel far.

“It is a much needed facility and is not just a skatepark. To make it viable and for it to appeal to everyone there will be lots of things that people can do there such as edit videos, use regular workshops and there will be youth counselling opportunities.”

For more details or to help out email or visit the Facebook page ‘Indoor Skatepark in Weston’.

To spread the word about the plans for Legend Skatepark, Weston College students entered a contest for the best promotional poster.

Nikki asked pupils studying a foundation diploma in art and design to come up with a design in their spare time to raise awareness about the indoor urban sports arena.

Jenna Morse, aged 18, whose design won, said: “Nikki gave me the brief, stressing it was more than a skatepark and I am really pleased my poster was picked.”

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