Stockwell skatepark re-opens

The refurbished skatepark

Stockwell skatepark in central Brixtonhas re-opened to the public after a £500,000 makeover led by Lambeth council.

All types of wheeled riders should now enjoy improved flow around the park, with more inviting space for beginners and refreshed seating the council said.

It hoped the upgrade will help nurture the next generation of Olympic talent.

The community organisation Friends of Stockwell Skatepark was crucial in pushing through the project and the work was undertaken by Betongpark, one of Europe’s leading skatepark design and construction firms.

Following a redesign that retained many of the park’s original features, the skatepark now has a state-of-the-art surface.

Donatus Anyanwu, Lambeth council cabinet member for stronger communities, leisure and sports, said Stockwell skatepark is “an incredibly special place in Lambeth” that draws people from across the borough and beyond.

“Skateboarding was included at last year’s Tokyo games, with a lot of people, young and old, falling in love with the sport.

“These new facilities should help to nurture local talent as well as supporting all wheeled users,” said Cllr Anyanwu.

“Whether you’re new to skateboarding or a veteran, I am delighted Stockwell skatepark can play an important role in developing the sport and getting people active.”

The park is one of the oldest in the country. It was designed by Lorne Edwards the “grandfather of British skateboarding” and opened in 1978.

construction site
The refurbishment in progress

The major refurbishment came after close community collaboration.

A section of the skatepark has been modified to include new features such as a quarter-pipe along the northern wall as well as tweaks to the design to cater to skaters with different needs and abilities.

The park’s heritage has also been respected – the new surface has been coloured a specific shade of red in homage to the park’s 1990s and 2000s heyday.

There is a unique drain cover incorporated into the new design bearing a plaque dedicated to Lorne Edwards.

A second plaque also recognises Brixton BMX Club patron Charlie Reynolds, a well-known figure during the 1970s and 1980s.

Stuart Maclure, Betongpark development manager, said: “Refurbishing Stockwell skatepark has been a dream project for us and we’re incredibly proud of the end result.

“It’s a space that is so special for London and to the local community.

“The new surface and additional obstacles make a world of difference to the overall flow of the park and for beginners to get learning.

“We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the next generation of riders to come out of Stockwell, which will add to the long list of legendary skateboarders and BMXers who call the space home.”

The refurbished park will cater for everyone with a series of instructor-led sessions to encourage children and young people to skate, bike or rollerblade.

The nee surface is back to red

There will also be sessions for adults, including those with disabilities, and opportunities for local residents to train to become skateboarding instructors.

Daphne Greca, from the Friends of Stockwell Skatepark, a community association that works to protect and promote of the skatepark and worked hard to ensure the project went ahead, said she was delighted at the end result.

 “It is brilliant that this project has been completed and our strong community of skaters, BMX riders and others are back out there doing what they love.

“Being able to use Stockwell Skatepark again just means so much to people.

woman in. fr9ont of skatepark
Daphne Greca of Friends of Stockwell Skatepark at the pre-upgrade Stockwell skatepark

“We now look forward to nurturing the next generation of skatepark users at this brilliant site which is now better than ever.”

The overall £500,000 investment includes a significant allocation of money from developers for improvements to sports facilities and open spaces, as well as projects for the benefit of the wider community.

It also includes £100,000 donations from Network Homes and the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Friends of Stockwell Skatepark will remain the guardians of the site, working with Lambeth council and local residents.