Last night I was invited to the launch of the Pitt St Skatepark Winter Warmer event which is taking place all this week right up until the 24th of December.
The recent community based project founded by the Undercover Skatepark Project has managed to raise over 30k to bring a state-of-the-art wheeled sports and leisure facility that can be used all year round, rain or shine. This next week is a chance to go and see the space, have a skate, or get your roller skates out and enjoy the roller disco with an added bonus of lovely food and beer on offer all week.
MakeMake Beer are there serving up their phenomenal beers and new to town Crack Burger has a pop-up serving pizza and burgers to entice you. My first impression was what a lovely community place for younger kids and all the family. A safe area that is warm and dry to be able to have fun while something for the grown-ups with the fab music and culinary delights on offer! There is also a sweet stand selling drinks, crisps, and chocolate for those treats your children desire after exercising those little legs.
I really love the space and layout as this is the place where this year’s We Create market was held plus it is easy to venture to. Based at the old Sainsbury’s site at the bottom of Commercial Road, it is a great way to unwind in the evenings leading up to the big day. As this is a huge, expansive space it means you don’t have to worry about being in a huge crowd or about Covid as the measures put in place mean it is a safe space for all. Open every evening from the 20th 5pm until 10pm and Christmas Eve opening 12pm until 6pm.
Honestly, the pricing is so reasonable costing £5.00 to either skate or enter the roller disco and a fun time for all the family with an opportunity to hire skates if you don’t have any, it is also FREE for people just wanting to enjoy the atmosphere. There is a huge area to skate around and it is a fun way for little ones to learn how to do the basics in skating without feeling intimidated by older more experienced skaters which can sometimes happen in other established parks around the city. If you wanted, you can also book skateboard lessons 12pm-4pm on Tuesday the 21st and Thursday the 23rd December. Prices are £10 an hour and start on the hour between those times.
Chatting to the co-founder of the Undercover Skate Project Jenna Boyson she said “We really wanted to celebrate the progress we have achieved with the crowdfunder this week and show the public what plans we have for this building. The Winter Warmer is a chance for people to come down and experience the first layout we have created and have some festive fun!"
This is set to be more than just a skatepark; It is set to be a creative community hub. Phase one will incorporate a café, skate shop, roller rink, ramp room, and leisure space. Phase two which will come to fruition later in 2022, will incorporate creative workshops, gallery space, community activity room, a gym and a recording studio. The facility will enable riders to continue their sport through the wet winter months. The team want to push grassroots participants into elite participants aiming for the Olympic dream! A fun space for anyone wanting to give it a go whether it be at a roller disco, at the skate academy or just for fun with friends.
Deciding on a name for the former Sainsburys building was an easy one as the area had previously been the home of Pitt St Gymnastics centre and the Royal Navy built it when the armed services were worried about the physical health of the new recruits. It seemed fitting to use a name that had history and throws a nod to the naval heritage we have in the city.
Having met Jake back in 2018, it is great to see all his plans and focus on bringing a dry skatepark to the city come to life! He said “I have skated for over 18 years meeting many people in the industry along the way. I have now been coaching as part of the skate academy for 3 years and look forward to its expansion. I met Jenna over 4 years ago when she told me to scrap my normal job (which I hated) and follow my dreams! Jenna ran her own community volunteer project for a number of years and has built a solid relationship with various groups and individuals around the city. I feel with our combined experience we can collectively make this project a huge success."
Please lookout for more plans and phases of the Pitt St Skatepark by visiting the Undercover Skatepark Project socials, but for now just go and let your hair down, take your kids to a fun space and enjoy the community vibe on offer this week.
Open 20th December -24th December
5pm until 10pm Mon – Wed
12pm – 6pm Xmas Eve