Nottingham skateboarding project skates to success with National Lottery funding boost

A skateboarding project in Nottingham will help to transform the city and young people’s lives, thanks to a boost from The National Lottery Community Fund, the UK’s largest community funder.

Skate Nottingham is celebrating today after being awarded almost £10,000 of National Lottery funding. This will develop skateboarding in the city and support young people involved in the sport, putting Nottingham on the map ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics, where skateboarding will become an Olympic sport for the first time.

Thanks to the new funding, an intensive skateboarding photography course will take place, free to all participants aged 12 and above.  This will end with a city-wide week-long event in the summer, where young people will showcase their work at the same time as skate competitions, panel discussions and film screenings. This will teach them new creative and digital skills, improving their confidence and moving them closer to employment. This will also help them to challenge the stigma and mis-conceptions around skateboarding, with recent research from the Royal Society suggesting adults can view young people’s activities as “anti-social”, when skateboarding can be a healthy, skilful and creatively rich activity.

This project will build on the group’s work from 2018, which was also supported with National Lottery funding. Last year, around 150 people took part in free skateboarding lessons, alongside photography workshops with industry experts. This resulted in a film festival at Flo Skatepark in Nottingham, where over 200 people watched short films about skateboarding in the city, produced by local young people.

Simon Bernacki and Chris Lawton, Co-Founders of Skate Nottingham, said: “We’re stoked to find out that The National Lottery Community Fund will be supporting us for a second year. The projects in 2018 went far beyond our expectations, enabling us to significantly expand the number of people skateboarding in Nottingham, particularly amongst women and girls, and then really focus on the potential educational links between skateboarding and creative and digital fields – that have had such big benefits for our own lives and careers. In 2019, this new grant will help us expand this activity and share the work and ideas of young people from our city worldwide.”

Sophie, aged 19, who took some incredible photographs as part of Skate Nottingham’s workshops, said: “I’ve met some great people and felt instantly integrated within the Notts skate scene.  I’ve learned a lot about photography – especially technical skills that are really invaluable.”

Oli, aged 18, also praises the National Lottery funded skate photography workshops. He said: “It is one of the most professional things I have ever done. I met some incredible people who have taught me and also increased knowledge I already had in terms of skating and photography.”

Lucy Adams, Skateboard England & Skateboard GB Chair and pro skateboarder, said: “We’re hugely supportive of Skate Nottingham’s project, which will raise awareness of the sport in the community and will open another route to get children and young people active, who would usually turn away from traditional sports. With Skateboarding making its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year, projects like this will be essential to the growth of skateboarding in the UK”

Matt Poole, Senior Head of Regional Funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Skate Nottingham, which is bringing people together in the city to take part in a fun and exciting sport. Thanks to National Lottery players, young people also have the opportunity to learn new skills that they can celebrate and share with their local community. It’s fantastic to see grants of £10,000 or less making such an impact and helping communities to thrive.”

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds (£508.5 million) and supported over 11,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. 90% of the grants it makes are for under £10,000. To find out more visit

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