Part 1: Maverick Skateparks officially chosen to build the new Alton skatepark
The Alton Town Council Task and Finishing Group have been a busy bunch since I released the first blog about the new skatepark plans back in August 2018. The Council side of the team set about organising the process of putting the design and construction of the park out to Tender so that any interested skatepark companies could submit an application to win the job. I won’t bore you with the intricate details of how that all works, but suffice to say Maverick beat other companies to win the contract based on their exceptionally detailed submission, great feedback from references, and a proven track record for quality and cost-effectiveness.
Maverick’s submission included a detailed CAD image of an initial skatepark layout from different angles and elevations, even detailing the heights of the features such as rails and boxes. Check it out below and please be sure to leave any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of the page (or go to the Facebook group to join in discussions about the proposed park layout).
Part 2: How is the Fundraising getting on?
As a member of the Task and Finishing Group I stuck my hand up to take on the role of Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator, working alongside Alton Town Councillors and staff to research and explore any grants and funds that this project might be eligible for. We kicked off by trawling through a list of 130 of the biggest employers in Hampshire, researching if they had any sort of corporate social responsibility schemes or community funding awards and then moving forward from there.
Long story short, obtaining any sort of community funding from private sector companies is an uphill slog at best. Unfortunately the majority of responses from the private sector were that they “weren’t in a position to financially back such projects right now” or “had recently allocated funds for this year’s corporate social responsibility projects”.
The good news however is that we’ve definitely confirmed three funding sources so far:
- £100,000 from developer contributions
- £25,000 from Alton Town Council
- £1,000 from the Hampshire Playing Fields Association (HPFA)
In addition to these confirmed sources I’m still working through the lengthy application process for the Veolia Environmental Trust, Big Lottery Fund and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation, whilst John Coney of the HPFA and my colleagues at Alton Town Council are busy applying for the Sport England Community Asset Fund and a few others. If we’re successful in these 3 large applications then that could potentially mean a further £325,000 in funding to add to the existing £126,000; and that could definitely build a skatepark to be proud of!
The closing dates for these applications are mostly in 2019 however and they’ll need to be reviewed by their respective Boards of Trustees before they are awarded, so we probably won’t find out if we’ve been successful until March 2019, fingers crossed.
Part 3: So what’s happening right now then?
Right now we’re working through various official elements which need to be completed in order to move forwards, these include but are not limited to:
- Planning permission review under ‘Permitted Development’.
- Engineering surveys of the current skatepark prior to official construction plans being drawn up.
- Public consultation in Alton to ensure civic engagement and for local skaters, scooters and BMXers to offer feedback on skatepark layout plans and features.
Speaking of which; if you’d like to know about the skatepark plans in more detail then check out the poster below which offers 3 times and dates for public consultations in the coming weeks. I’ll be at the existing skatepark with a few of the other guys on Saturday 8th December to discuss the plans if you’re around.
Last but not least, massive thanks to Harry Lea of Amery Hill School for designing our project’s logo:
If you’re keen to get involved or you just want to keep track of what’s happening with this project then please:
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Take a look at the Facebook group set up especially for this project and provide your comments and suggestions (or comment at the bottom of this post if you like)