STOURBRIDGE skaters and BMX riders are invited to help shape the town’s new skate park before work on the planned state-of-the-art facility gets off the ground.
Former cycling champion Gavin Pardoe aims to turn an empty warehouse in Mill Race Lane into a new mecca for skaters, BMX-ers and scooter riders from across the region and beyond.
The new urban recreation centre, which will be called Unit3sixty, will be run as a social enterprise and will feature a world championship standard indoor skate park with the latest ramps, rails and jumps; an intermediate level skate park for BMX-ers, skateboarders and scooter riders; a mini balance bike course for two to five-year-olds, a cafe and viewing gallery.
But before ramp building begins – Mr Pardoe, a Stourbridge firefighter and former national time trial competitor, is holding a consultation with young Stourbridge skateboarders on Tuesday February 4 to ensure the park meets with their approval.
The get together will take place at 6.30pm at the 22,000 square foot unit (bays 5 and 6 in block F on The Stourbridge Estate), which Mr Pardoe and his team aim to transform into one of the biggest and best skate parks in the country.
He said: "We want Stourbridge skaters to come along and discuss the layout for the park and we're hoping to elect one or two spokespeople to act on behalf of the group to collate information and we'll feedback designs to ramp builder. Nothing's been finalised yet."
Further meetings to seek the views of other park users will also take place on Tuesday February 11 - for inline skaters, Tuesday February 18 - for scooter riders, and Wednesday February 26 - for BMX riders. All consultation meetings will start at 6.30pm.
Planning approval has yet to be granted for the facility but it has already won support from the town's MP Margot James and deputy leader of Dudley Council - councillor Pete Lowe - and to date Mr Pardoe has received pledges of £135,000 (£60,000 from Dudley Council's community forums and community enterprise fund and £75,000 from Charity Bank) to launch the project.
To find out more about the venture visit website www.unit3sixty.com or facebook.com/unit3sixty