A SKATEPARK which would be the first of its kind in the island could be built at Cronk Grianagh Park in Braddan.
Braddan Commissioners have applied (12/01186/B) to government planners for the state-of-the-art development.
It is just one of the ways in which the commissioners are improving leisure facilities in the park – a BMX track, playground equipment and benches were also recently installed.
Existing skateparks in the island are made up of a concrete area with metal and wooden ramps bolted to a concrete base. The skatepark planned for Cronk Grianagh is made up of a poured concrete ‘plaza’, and is designed to replicate street architecture in a safe environment.
Among the many features would be a quarter-pipe, range of ledges, steps, a bullion block with a floating grind ledge and a 1.4 metre high clam shell pocket.
A quote for the scheme provided by Hampshire-based company Gravity Skateparks, which was submitted with the application, is for £78,000 plus VAT.
Brendan Jarvis, a designer at the company, said it would suit all ages and abilities, with smaller transitions for younger riders and some technical equipment for those with more experience. He said the smooth concrete was good to ride on, and less abrasive than tarmac to fall on.
Braddan Commissioners community warden Paul Parker said: ‘With the feedback we are getting already and the amount of emails from people all round the island asking when it’s going to be done, I have no doubt it’s going to be a success.
‘At the moment there’s not a proper skatepark in the island. This is going to be totally different to what we’ve already got.’
He explained the idea came about 15 months ago when the commissioners asked youngsters, including Ballacottier School pupils, what was required in the area.
Their suggestions were for a BMX track, skatepark and more playground equipment. Since then, the commissioners have been working on the design with skaters across the island, aged 17 to 25, to ensure it is well-used.
It is hoped the skatepark would be finished in time for October half term.
Once completed, the commissioners will then start installing more play equipment, including a zipline aimed at older youngsters, in Clagh Vane Park. In the longer term, they also want to extend play facilities at Strang Corner.
Meanwhile, the newly-formed Rushen Action Group has asked the four local authorities in Rushen to suggest potential sites for a BMX track and skatepark after youngsters from the south said they were the facilities they wanted.