An indoor skatepark for Milton Keynes
An indoor skatepark for Milton Keynes
This petition is to show support from the community and prove that there is a genuine need for a new, large, preferably indoor skatepark facility in Milton Keynes.
Although we do currently have a few smaller outdoor facilities, these have either been designed with no purposeful function, perhaps having been built to simply say that the need for a skatepark has been fulfilled (Pennyland, Two Mile Ash, Tattenhoe), suffer from issues of anti social behaviour from non-skate Park users (Bletchley) or had issues relating to complaints from local residents leading to their use being limited and restricted by council implemented measures (Broughton, Buszy).
In addition to these issues, all of the existing facilities are outdoors and so only available for use during dry weather, which as we know in the UK can be rare!
Milton Keynes has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK and is a central hub to the region in terms of local transport and rail connections. The 2 nearest indoor facilities are Corby and Hemel Hempstead, both of which are a 40 minute drive away and not easily accessible through public transport. However, even despite this, participation levels at these venues is very high and they have a constant stream of visitors travelling from across the region to use the parks to skateboard, scooter, BMX and rollerblade.
With the introduction of skateboarding as an Olympic sport in 2020, the increased popularity of wheeled sports amongst people of all ages, the lack of an indoor local facility and the known benefits of aiding youth access to sports facilities we believe the time is right for Milton Keynes to capitalise on this opportunity and build an indoor skatepark.
We are proposing to build a large indoor skatepark in Milton Keynes for the benefit of anyone wishing to take part in skateboarding, BMXing, scootering or roller blading. In an ideal scenario, this would be built in an existing, empty building in the city centre, Bletchley or Wolverton. This is due to the railway stations making these ideal locations to enhance accessibility for those travelling to MK which will then give an added economical benefit to our town as a whole. We are looking for support from the council to find a location and to back the project but then will be raising the money required through fundraising events, local sponsorship and grants. If we are unable to find a suitable premise to build an indoor facility, then we would be looking to build a large outdoor facility on empty land through the support of MK council and/or The Parks Trust.
With an indoor facility, there are several benefits aside from it being able to be used despite the weather. Firstly, as it would be manned, there is an element of risk reduction as unsafe or dangerous behaviour would be counteracted and stopped. Secondly, we would propose to charge a small entrance fee (similar to the £3-£7 charged by the other nearest indoor venues, but subsidised to users who can prove they live at an MK address), this would not only cover the cost of the maintenance, staff and upkeep of the building but would also prevent the possibility of antisocial behaviour which can sometimes be seen from non-users loitering at outdoors parks and causing a disturbance. We could further enhance the economic viability of the park by including a cafe and skate shop, either leasing out the space to local businesses or by running them as a commercial venture alongside the park. Whichever option was used would bring money into the Milton Keynes economy and any profits made could be used to enhance the park. Finally, with the introduction of skateboarding in the 2020 Olympics it would be great for Milton Keynes to build the park which can also function as a training centre to nurture our young talent and lead to global recognition.
I started this petition because…
As a teenager I enjoyed skateboarding myself, though at that time there were no real designated skateparks in Milton Keynes. Having now grown a bit older and with 2 sons of my own, when my 9 year old started skateboarding I found it a great way to spend some time together, keep exercising and get back into the sport. Initially, I was really happy to hear of the few local spots in MK (and still am glad that we have something rather than nothing!), however, after visiting a few it was clear that most haven’t really been designed with actual use for wheeled sports in mind. We then started to visit different places on our Sundays together to find some skateparks worth skating. Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire have many more larger skateparks than MK, with skateparks popping up all the time in smaller villages and towns (Wooton, Flitwick, Cranfield, Shefford, Kettering, Rushden to name but a few) and then there are the indoor ones in Hemel Hempstead, Corby and St Albans.
At the indoor skateparks I was surprised to see how busy they were and how many other people would travel even up to an hour every weekend to use them. I often met people from Milton Keynes at these other parks and it became apparent the lack of a suitable local facility was the key reason for people travelling further afield. For someone with a car, travelling is not so much of an issue, but for the younger generation in MK who want to skate it represents a real issue. I then started sharing my thoughts with other skaters from MK who I’d meet in the local parks and everyone I’ve spoken with has shared my views that not only would a large well designed facility fulfill a great need for the local skating/scootering/bmxing community, but that it would also hold enormous benefit for Milton Keynes as a whole.
I hope I can count on your support in signing this petition!