£6m Wirral skate park gets green light

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Design for £6m skate park. © Rampworx

Design for £6m skate park. © Rampworx

A multi-million pound indoor skate park has been given the green light by Wirral Council, though funds are not yet secure.

Rampworx, a children’s charity working through a range of developmental activities and sports, has been given the go-ahead to build a complex in Bidston which will provide many extreme sports opportunities which are not currently available within a 40-mile radius.

Tony Berry, Rampworx development manager, told JMU Journalism: “We were very confident of gaining planning permission. We had the backing of councillors including Bidston Cllr Harry Smith and MPs Frank Field and Angela Eagle.

“This is a unique project, which will become a national and international facility.”

Planning was not the only issue standing in the way of the charity though, with funding another potential stumbling block.

Now that planning has been approved, Rampworx can begin their application for a grant from Sport England. However, this is not the only avenue which could be taken.

Mr Berry, said: “Whilst the Olympics was a great thing, it has taken up a lot of money. Although we are not totally reliant on funding should an investor come about, or we may be able to gain sponsorship from somebody.”

The development will incorporate a climbing wall, office space, café, music and dance facilities as well the skate park itself.

As well as bringing 35 jobs to the area, there would be 20-30 voluntary positions covering many different fields, from mentoring to administration positions.

The project which started in 2007 is looking to develop unused land on Valley Road which was formerly used by Birkenhead Docks Sports and Social Centre.

Mr Berry explained: “Should we get funding tomorrow the development would take about 18 months. However, I think a realistic target would be two to three years from now.”

About William Shaw, JMU Journalism