New Kent skatepark in Folkestone to be ready by summer 2021

A unique urban sports park is set to be finished this summer.

F51 will be the world's first multi-storey skate park and is being built in Folkestone.

The new Folkestone skate park
The new Folkestone skate park

It will include suspended concrete skating bowls on the first floor, plus plywood ramps and street-scene skating, which will also be suitable for BMX usage, on the second and third levels.

A climbing wall will scale the rear side of the building and a boxing arena will be found on the ground floor.

A cafe and changing rooms will also feature in the building.

The long-awaited development is being funded and developed by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust as part of regeneration plans for Folkestone.

It will ultimately be managed by the Shepway Sports Trust.

Images of how it is hoped the skate park will look
Images of how it is hoped the skate park will look

Over the years, it has received celebrity endorsements from American rapper MC Hammer and pro-skater Bam Margera.

The multi-million pound project was first proposed in 2015 but has been subject to delays due to its complex design, escalating costs and previous issues with cladding, which have now been resolved.

The pandemic has also caused delays, with main contractor Jenner revealing this has included the supply of the facade panels.

But despite the pandemic, work is still progressing on site.

Images of how it is hoped the skate park will look
Images of how it is hoped the skate park will look

Laurence Hickmott, chief executive of Shepway Sports Trust, said: "We are eagerly counting down the weeks until the highly-anticipated opening of Folkestone 51.

"Even though it has gained attention from some of the best international athletes, F51 will first and foremost be a space for the local community.

"Our priority will be to offer affordable opportunities for local people, of all ages and abilities, to try the multiple sports we have on offer at F51 in a safe and fun environment.

"With skateboarding, climbing and BMX Freestyle set to feature for the first time at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, we are excited to work with schools, clubs and community groups to inspire the next generation of future Olympians."

Construction is well underway
Construction is well underway

Construction has continued with enhanced safety procedures and new ways of working in place since the outbreak of Covid, says Jenner.

Martin Sandall, managing director of the firm, added: “In essence, the project has been held captive at the hands of Covid-19 for many months now which is incredibly frustrating not only for us as the main contractor but more so for our client who are solely dedicated to the regeneration of Folkestone and recognise the importance of sport within the local community.

"We want to get the doors of this exciting landmark building open as soon as we can, and are doing everything within our power to drive the project forwards."

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