The new skatepark in Malling Fields was officially opened on Saturday, May 20, at an event put on by Lewes District Council for local residents and skaters.
The opening ceremony was performed by young skaters who skated through a red ribbon.
There was live music from local bands throughout the day and skate suppliers provided prizes for displays and competitions.
The park was constructed by specialist skatepark builders, Wheelscape, who designed the layout based on a brief put together by the Lewes skating community. The result is a unique design which will make Lewes a destination for skaters from all over the UK and abroad.
Chris Bibb, the officer from Lewes District Council who managed the project from its inception, is delighted with the result. Speaking at the opening event, he said: “This is a great day for local skaters. We’ve been working towards upgrading the skatepark for a long time so it’s incredibly rewarding to see skaters using it for the first time. We’ve got something quite special here which will attract people to Lewes from far and wide.”
The funds for the £200k scheme have come from several sources including the North Street Quarter development and The Veolia Environmental Trust.
The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, commented: “Skateparks like this one provide young people with a space where they can meet up and have fun, all for free and in the outdoors. We are pleased to have been able to help this important project and I hope the skatepark is used and enjoyed for many years to come.”
Malling Fields is to be upgraded as part of the North Street Quarter development, which is jointly owned by Lewes District Council and Santon North Street. The £180m regeneration scheme will bring considerable assets to the town, including 416 new houses, of which 40% (165) are affordable homes; a new health hub; a public car park with 330 spaces and extensive works on the River Ouse will complete the town’s flood defences and create new public access to the river with a footbridge and a riverside promenade.
Clive Wilding, Director of Santon North Street, said: “The North Street Quarter scheme will include an upgrade of community facilities on Malling Fields and we have been consulting with Lewes residents about what they would like to have. The skatepark is a fantastic asset for Lewes and I’m delighted that it’s been completed ahead of schedule in time for the school holidays.”