December 2015 They have been a long time coming but yesterday afternoon, 9th December, the skatepark floodlights were switched on for the very first time. I went there with my camera at 4-00 pm and despite it being freezing cold and blowing a hurricane across Broadlands Rec. there were four lads with skateboards relishing the facility under floodlight conditions. One young 51 year old even did a head stand on his skateboard as he crossed the track as a celebration! When the word got around many others came although I am not sure how long they would stay in those conditions.
Some 5 1/2 years since we began this project we can now say that the three main aspects of the project are completed. In the Spring it is intended to install Astroturf around the concrete which will be more durable than grass and should alleviate soil and grit getting onto the concrete from around the edges as currently happens. It is also intended to install a couple of bench seats.
From a personal point of view I must say how much I have enjoyed working with the young people in order to get this facility. They have been enormously supportive and have done everything they were asked. They attended the meetings with the designer and the facility we have is the result of their input into the design. They also value what they have and care for it simply because they know it belongs to them and if it gets trashed there is no money to fix it.
Finally to say a big thank you to Meltham Town Council for the huge amount of funding you have given to our project. Already it has given tens of thousands of hours of enjoyment for the young people, getting them into the fresh air for exercise, development of skills and making friends and believe me the rapport between them is excellent.
Words by Melvyn Gibson
17 November 2014
The construction reached a milestone yesterday when Wheelscape handed over the finished skatepark to us. Above are a couple of images showing Phase B and how it has integrated with Phase A to realise a superb facility which really 'flows.' It is a credit to our young people who have worked alongside the Wheelscape designer to come up with this fantastic and very challenging layout.
Whilst the skatepark is fit for use, there is more work to be done. Kirklees Council will be installing some Astroturf around the edges of the concrete which is much more durable than grass and will not rub away to create mud. Floodlights will be installed later on - watch this space!
In mid-October 2013 the concrete section of the Meltham Skate park Phase A was in place much to the delight of the young people who just couldn’t wait to try their new facility. During the following week very basic landscaping was carried out but the weather then turned very wet and the work discontinued. This didn’t deter the young people who have embraced their new exciting skate park without hesitation. Skateboarding, BMX stunt riding and scooter riding are all being carried out.
Meltham Town Council have been very keen to support this project from the beginning and have invested some £20k into Phase A which has a total cost of £100k. The Friends of Meltham Greenway who are driving the project forward have maintained a close liaison with the council and kept them up to date with developments.
Now that this stage of the facility is in place the young people of Meltham have formed a skate park group under the guidance of the Youth Leaders. Some parents have also volunteered to help. They will care for the skate park and intend to promote future events and demonstrations.
The Friends of Meltham Greenway are now concentrating on providing floodlights and it is hoped to put these in place over the next few months and certainly before the spring. Arrangements have been made made with the sports complex in order to connect with their electrical supply which will drastically reduce the installation costs. Some private funding is already in place but Meltham Town Council have offered further financial support if this is needed.
In addition the ‘Friends’ have bid for a sum of £50k which, if granted, will cover the cost of Phase B. The initial feedback for the bid is very positive.
The Head of Kirklees Sport & Recreation visited Broadlands Recreation Ground at the end of October and was delighted with what he saw, claiming the Meltham Skate park to be the best in Kirklees. Hopefully he will have more favourable words when he sees the floodlights and Phase B in place, hopefully by mid 2014.
Oliver Garies from Kirklees Youth Service organised an unofficial opening, (official opening will take place when Phase B is completed). The event was called a Winter Warmer and took place on the 10 November 2013. More than 150 people attended the event which included a barbeque and competitions with a skate shop from Huddersfield called Endemic providing the prizes.
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE INVOLVED!