New skatepark design in pipeline

Design proposals for an upgrade to Oundle’s skatepark have recently been published by Oundle Town Council. A consultation period was available in May when opinions and input of the Oundle community were solicited.

The concept for the proposed skatepark was designed by Maverick, a leading specialist of skate parks. Their design comprises two zones: “The Street Facility” and “The Miniramp”.

Their aim is to link the areas when it is quiet, but ensure that they can be used as separate, independent areas when the park is busy.

“Both spaces will provide challenges for riders who are keen to attempt more technically difficult tricks on the elements within the design.”

The project will be built on the site of the skatepark off New Road.

The current skatepark is showing its age and has posed a number of issues for its users. The rough asphalt surface between the stands is often unpleasant when riders fall, whilst the size of the skatepark itself is limiting to the wider variety of users who now use the skatepark, such as BMX riders and scooter riders. The current space also does not lend itself to a varied use of the stations.

The council has been discussing improvements to the skatepark for a while. Mayor Ian Clark said: “We want to make the space as user-friendly and safe as possible.”

Though the concrete construction of the new design will have a higher carbon footprint than the current wooden facility, its longevity means that it will have to be maintained or replaced far less frequently.

Skateparks enjoy widespread use in communities across the country, and provide young people with a sense of belonging as well as recreational opportunities on a regular basis. It is recognised that young people are not getting enough exercise, and skateparks teach them the importance of regular exercise.

According to a recent study, in 2020, there were roughly 53,000 people participating in skateboarding across the UK. It was introduced as an Olympic competitive sport at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

The project will be financed through grant applications and possible Section 106 funding.

Priyanka Menon
June 2022