Wheelscape wins Bury St Edmunds skatepark contract

A design meeting regarding the new skatepark in Bury took place at Hardcore Hobbies on Wednesday

A design meeting regarding the new skatepark in Bury took place at Hardcore Hobbies on Wednesday

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A Bristol-based company has been selected to carry out work on the Bury St Edmunds skatepark in Olding Road.

The park’s original wooden structure, which was installed in 1999, is at the end of its life for safe use and is going to be replaced with a bespoke concrete design.

Wheelscape, which specialises in bespoke innovative design, user-led consultation and free-form in-situ skatepark construction, was chosen from a shortlist of five UK companies following a fairly lengthy procurement process with St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

It is likely to start work on the upgrade, which could cost up to £300,000, around the end of August or beginning of September, pending planning permission.

Yesterday, its representatives met with the Bury Skatepark Experience - a committee formed by users of the Bury skatepark - for a design workshop.

Simon Pickering, St Edmundsbury’s youth and community officer, said: “It was a really good meeting, with some great ideas coming up. They’re just the kind of company that we want to be working with - even their architect is a thoroughbred skateboarder. They’re coming back on Monday to do more work with the group.”

The group anticipates becoming a registered charity shortly and Elle Zwandahl has been appointed chair of its trustees.

She said: “It’s very exciting. We’ve got Wheelscape on board and they’ve got some original designs, but we’re tweaking them because there are some really skilled skateboarders and BMX riders that need to be involved to help us make the most of the site.”

She added: “Bury skatepark has already got a really positive reputation nationally and it’s going to be even bigger and better once we’ve got the specialist concrete skatepark built. It’s going to attract a lot of people, both locally and from further afield. It’s already putting Bury on the map.”

To fund the project, Bury Skatepark Experience has raised almost £11,000 itself, in addition to £20,000 of funding from Bury Town Council, £150,000 from St Edmundsbury and other smaller donations from local schools and businesses.

On Tuesday, it received a further boost from Havebury Housing Partnership’s Neighbourhood Investment Panel, which has agreed to fund an additional £10,000.

Wheelscape has built dozens of skateparks across the UK and is particularly well-known for its work on Hastings Skatepark, in Sussex, which, as well as a world-class bowl, included the country’s first cradle.

To find out more about the company and its work on other skateparks, visit www.wheelscape.co.uk/index.php