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Folkestone Urban Skate Park downsized after building costs double from first £7m estimates

By Matt Leclere

A unique skate park under construction in Folkestone has had to be downsized due to building costs being double what was first expected.

The indoor urban sports park in Tontine Street - said to be the world's first of its kind - was originally expected to cost around £7 million.

But following a review costs for the original scheme - which was approved last year - came in at around £14m.

The planned new Folkestone Urban Sports Park has been delayed while technical designs for the skate facilities are finalised. Picture courtesy of Roger De Haan Charitable Trust

It has now been scaled back with a top floor function room and basement level removed and six storeys reduced to four.

Skating and climbing facilities have been retained on the middle floors.

The function room at the very top of the building has been removed and will now be located in the ground floor.

Boxing facilities - including a championship sized ring - have been moved from the basement level to the ground floor.

This will allow stronger foundations to be laid in the basement due to the amount of concrete needed to hold up the frame of the building.

Amended plans have this week been submitted to Shepway District Council.

An engineering review has been completed into how the skate park will be constructed.

Kay Whitehead, the project officer for the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, said: "Because of the concrete and the floor on top it was £14m.

"As part of engineering review they worked out it would need more concrete to support. We've moved to a more steel construction.

Building work started on the site when piling and tests began last August

"It's because it's a building that's never been done before.

"There's been this complete review to work out how much it's going to cost once we've spoken to the experts.

"We need to find out from the people who are going to build it especially because it's never been built before.

"We're now in the process of assessing bids [from contractors]."

The trust has been working with a quantity survey in order to "nail down the costs" Ms Whitehead said.

New designs have been submitted to the council with artist impressions of how the building will now look due to be released in the next few weeks.

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