Rune Glifberg
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In 2003, 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 court.

A flyer 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.



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