several petitions were submitted by local
young people and skaters asking for a skate park
in Middlesbrough. The Mayor, Ray Mallon took this
on board and said that he would look into providing
a facility in Middlesbrough.
Having never done one before,
and knowing nothing about skate parks, BMX or
skating, Paul Rabbitts, Policy and Development
Manager for the Council went to look at skate
parks throughout the country. It soon became apparent
that this could be huge and also it was not about
“sticking “ a few ramps on an old tennis
and questionnaire was devised and sent across
the town and two major test events were held,
both free, with the only proviso, users had to
fill in a questionnaire. The response was massive.
Prissick Base was the preferred site and Concrete
and Skatelite were the preferred materials, and
it had to be a managed site.
The Design team was set up and involved a group
called Prissick Skaters, who set about putting
down design ideas. The demand was for a DC Plaza
facility, designed by Site Design Group from Tempe,
Arizona. They were commissioned to come up with
designs on a Skate Plaza, the first in Europe.
Site Design Group came up with the plans and the
implementation team started to put costs together.
At the same time, Paul Rabbitts was looking at
how to fund the project. Costs were estimated
at £500,000. Bids were submitted to Sport
England’s Active England Programme supported
by Big Lottery Fund (£80,000); SITA Trust,
Landfill Tax credit scheme (£100,000); Living
Spaces (£25,000); and to Middlesbrough Council's
Capital Programme (£245,000). The remainder
was to come from developer contributions via the
Council. All bids were successful.
Funding now in place, Designs approved, works
were tendered and awarded to Hall Construction
of County Durham under the technical guidance
of Middlesbrough Councils Design Services Team
and Baker Mallett Quantity Surveyors.
Construction started in July
2005. The plaza was completed in November 2005.
Total cost is in the region of £600,000.