Skateboarders, BMX riders and other wheeled sports fanatics are being asked to help develop a city-wide masterplan for better skate facilities in Swansea.
Swansea Council has set aside more than £1million to invest in skate park facilities and has already enlisted the help of international skate park designers – Curve Studio.
Young people in the city with a passion for skateboarding and BMX, along with those who are curious about taking up the sport, are now being asked for their views on what they would like to see developed in Swansea.
The city already has a network of community skate and BMX facilities around the city, including in Victoria Park, Loughor, Gorseinon, Morriston and Townhill.
Current facilities are well-used and some have been upgraded recently, while others require further investment. But Curve will bring experience from their other successful skate projects so that provision in Swansea is transformed in coming years.
Over the last two decades Curve Studio have worked with partners in London, Devon, Eastbourne, Northern Ireland and across Norway to create much-loved skate parks and BMX tracks. They have recently completed the most northern skate park in the world, in the Norwegian Arctic.
Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism said: “We want to create some of the best skateboard, BMX and wheeled sports facilities in Wales.
“Curve Studio have an amazing track record for creating skate facilities all around the world and will work with the Council and with the skateboard and BMX communities, to develop a series of options, a strategy and support in the design of facilities that people will be proud of.
“Like us, they want to see the next generation of skate facilities in Swansea help harness the dedication and enthusiasm of skateboarders and BMX riders so that, whether it’s for fun, wellbeing or because they have aspirations of Olympic greatness, wheeled sports fans in Swansea will have somewhere to express themselves.”
Kenneth Waggestad-Stoa from Curve Studio is a keen skateboarder and has been instrumental in designing skate facilities elsewhere in the UK as well as abroad.
Kenneth said: “Curve Studio is made up of people who love skateboarding and wheeled sports. We have a direct connection with people who also have a passion for this sport, which helps us to develop facilities that we would also love to have access to.
“We are delighted to join forces with Swansea Council in developing the strategic masterplan for skate and wheeled sports.
“Their commitment to investment within local communities, acknowledging the needs and desires of young people interested in skate and wheeled sports is commendable.
“We look forward to working with the Council, local groups and others, as we embark on this exciting journey together.”
Swansea-born Olympic BMX rider, James Jones is also backing the plans and thinks the aims of the Council could lead to the emerging of fresh young talent in the city.
The 29-year-old, who’s originally from the Sandfields area of Swansea, said: “BMX and skateboarding are already hugely popular, but they’re only going to get more popular in Swansea and elsewhere in the coming years, with both sports now featuring in the Olympics.
“It’s amazing that Swansea Council have recognised this and are setting aside quite a lot of funding for better facilities here.”
To get involved in developing state-of-the-art skate park facilities in Swansea, take part in the survey here: www.swansea.gov.uk/skatesurvey