The Skateparks Project secures RSA funding for better skateparks

The Skateparks Project has been awarded a £2000 grant by the RSA (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) to help councils and communities build better skateparks in the UK.

The Skateparks Project is a non-profit organisation that documents the UK’s skateparks and provides free impartial advice to anyone looking to build public skateparks in the UK. It also maintains the skatepark directory of over 1,500 UK skateparks that powers Skateboard England’s MySkate App.

The funding will be used to help form a charity and recruit more volunteers across the country to better assist those needing support. As well as practical hands-on guidance, the funding will allow volunteers to complete the Introduction to Local Council Administration (ILCA) course, a level 2 qualification that offers an introduction to how councils operate, legal frameworks, obligations and insights useful when building public skateparks.

The Skateparks Project was founded in 2014 by Skateboard England’s Vice-Chair Alex Jordan. It was originally launched as the skatepark directory, but quickly started receiving requests for support from councils and communities looking to build new skateparks.

Alex comments “When we launched the website, we started getting the occasional email from people asking how they could get their council to build a skatepark. Five years on and we’re now receiving an enquiry almost daily, largely from councils who know they want a skatepark, but don’t know how to go about it.”

“With skateboarding becoming an Olympic sport and Skateboard England engaging in considerable outreach, councils are beginning to understand the importance of skateparks, that are not simply playgrounds. We must now capitalise on this exposure and help councils make the right decisions to ensure they build the best possible skateparks for their communities.”

According to research conducted by Skateboard England, The Skateparks Project’s website is used by over half of the UK’s 752,000 skateboarders. The directory allows anyone to search or browse the UK’s skateparks with detailed information and photos available for many of the parks listed.

The Skateparks Project is run by volunteers across the UK, such as Jon Rimmer of the Alton Skatepark project, who provide email and phone support, meet councils, assist with consultations and engage locals. There are also volunteers who help maintain the skatepark directory, including Chris Davies, who has spent hundreds of hours visiting all the skateparks in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Alex has been working closely with Skateboard England since 2017 and The Skateparks Project has been a partner of Skateboard England since 2018. Together we hope to promote and improve skatepark facilities across the UK.

The Skateparks Project welcomes anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to get in touch.

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