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Final stages of F51 skate park in Folkestone are underway

Work has begun to complete the final floor at a new multi-million pound urban sports park in Folkestone.

F51, currently being built on the corner of Tontine Street and Dover Road, will be the world's first multi-storey skate park.

The new skate park in Folkestone, F51, is taking shape. Pictures: Matt Rowe
The new skate park in Folkestone, F51, is taking shape. Pictures: Matt Rowe

It will include suspended concrete skating bowls, plus plywood ramps and street-scene skating, which will also be suitable for BMX usage.

A climbing wall will scale the rear side of the building and a boxing arena will be found on the ground floor.

A cafe and changing rooms will also feature in the building.

Now, the team behind the ambitious project say the final skate floor, the flow floor, is being installed following the completion of the exterior cladding.

The flow floor will be home to 650 sq m of skateable timber surface. It will feature wallrides, volcanoes, waterfalls, blends, skateable pillars and more.

The new bowl floor at the skate park
The new bowl floor at the skate park

The floor will offer challenges for experienced riders while also acting as a training ground for beginners learning to ride transition due to its wide variety of quarters and hips.

Moreover, the flow floor will provide skaters of all abilities with a chance to refine their transition skating abilities before taking their tricks to the concrete bowls.

Alex Frost, F51 project officer, said: "It is beyond exciting to witness the near completion of our skateable floors, particularly the flow floor, which we’ve been eagerly anticipating since the completion of our cladding installation.

"Our timber skate floors offer a wide range of opportunities for riders and skaters of all abilities.

"As a new skater or BMXer, these are the floors you will spend the majority of your time on as you develop your confidence and ability.

The concept for the flow floor at the skate park in Folkestone
The concept for the flow floor at the skate park in Folkestone

"The attention to detail in the shape and design of F51’s flow floor is something I haven’t seen in many indoor skateparks across the country.

"Cambian Action Sports’ knowledge of ‘flow’ and smooth movement shines through on this floor.

"Skateboard and BMX lines have been carefully thought out and mapped throughout the many avenues and routes you can take to navigate round 650 square metres of timber bowl."

Also in the building, the suspended concrete bowls are now complete, and the final touches are being added to the street floor.

Work on the boxing club will begin soon.

The street floor
The street floor

Although an opening date has yet to be revealed, the team hope F51 will open in the autumn of this year.

The long-awaited development is being funded and developed by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust as part of regeneration plans for Folkestone.

It will ultimately be managed by the Shepway Sports Trust.

Over the years, it has received celebrity endorsements from American rapper MC Hammer and pro-skater Bam Margera.

The multi-million pound project was first proposed in 2015 but has been subject to many delays due to its complex design, escalating costs and previous issues with cladding, which have now been resolved.

The exterior has now been completed
The exterior has now been completed

The pandemic has also caused delays, with main contractor Jenner revealing this included the supply of the facade panels.

Laurence Hickmott, chief executive of Shepway Sports Trust, previously said: "We are eagerly counting down the weeks until the highly-anticipated opening of Folkestone 51.

"Even though it has gained attention from some of the best international athletes, F51 will first and foremost be a space for the local community.

"Our priority will be to offer affordable opportunities for local people, of all ages and abilities, to try the multiple sports we have on offer at F51 in a safe and fun environment.

"With skateboarding, climbing and BMX Freestyle set to feature for the first time at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, we are excited to work with schools, clubs and community groups to inspire the next generation of future Olympians."

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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