An Urban Sports Park, complete with skating on three floors and a climbing wall, is set to open in Folkestone next summer.
The innovative complex, which is called F51, has been in the making for several years and is said to be the first of its kind in the world. The site is a four storey development with a boxing club on the ground floor, skating floors and a 40ft climbing wall on the middle floors and chill out area on the top floor. There will also be a bouldering room, café, kiosk shop and function room on site.
Speaking to Premier Construction Magazine, Dan Hulme, a Trustee of Shepway Sports Trust, which will manage the development once completed, said: “Over six to nine months the plan for a one storey skate park escalated and became a two floor, three floor and then a four floor plan. We then added a climbing wall and bouldering, the boxing club joined and it became a bit of a beast. We wanted something incredible yet accessible so it is inherent to the design and the business case that local children will use the facility for very little, which therefore means it needs to be successful as an event venue and attracting skateboarding tourism to be sustainable.
“It is all about the regeneration of Folkestone, which was once a failing port town. It is now very successful with a great arts scene, great sports scene and a very successful harbour arm but we wanted something that was a bit more ‘wow’ to bring people down from a sports perspective.
The multi-storey sports park is seen as an investment for young people and will be located in the town centre, at the junction of Dover Road and Tontine Street.
Dan added: “The first thing you notice are these really cool concrete bowls that people skate. They are about 13ft deep and are cast out of the building so you can see the shape of the bowl from the outside.
Shepway Sports Trust is a not-for-profit sports charity funded principally by The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust that promotes high-quality competition, sporting and coaching opportunities. Its key aim is to connect schools and sports clubs within the district with the purpose of inspiring all generations to lead healthy and active lifestyles.
“The hope is that this site provides a brilliant facility that offers world class amenities in three currently under provided for sports.”
“It is a really thrilling project and is a one of a kind facility and what it can do for our sports charity is huge. I grew up in Folkestone and at that time, it was a place that you wouldn’t come back to after you went off to university but now that has completely changed. We hope F51 will give Folkestone that final push and it is somewhere for all local people to enjoy, but also somewhere that people from across England and further afield will travel to. ”
Cambian Engineering Solutions
Founded in 2011, Cambian Engineering Solutions Ltd provides a complete solution to the use of engineered wood within the engineering and architectural sectors. They combine skills, knowledge and processes from the engineering and architectural sectors to enable efficient and cost effective solutions.
The company is split into two divisions, with the Action Sports division creating world-class, stand-out individual leisure facilities for the modern world with an emphasis on seamless architectural integration and unrivalled user experiences. The Advanced Engineering division uses the latest physical and digital tools to realise complex geometric and freeform shapes for wide ranging applications in the engineering and architectural sectors.
The two divisions have worked on a number of projects over the years including Source Park in Hastings where the company designed and built a skate park, Yonder in Walthamstow where they completed the architectural design and acted as the main contractors for a multi-use climbing wall, leisure centre and co-working space and have worked on other projects such as Birmingham new Street Station, The Glebe and The Royal Opera House.
Cambian Engineering Solutions were recently involved with the development of F51, the urban sports park in Folkestone, where they designed the layout of the skate park on the second and third floors, manufactured the specialised joinery elements for the reception, café and seating throughout the building and provided detailed parametric design, off site digital manufacture and installation of the same.
Piers Chapman from Cambian Engineering said: “The principles which underpin this project are truly inspirational and we hope we will have influence well beyond the scheme itself. It is incredibly exciting to be part of this process, which allows us to bring together many years’ knowledge and experience to help create a world first facility for the people of Folkestone and all those who will travel from far and wide to enjoy its unique features.”