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Urban sports park to open in Folkestone

A world-first urban sports park - complete with skating on three floors - is on course to open in Folkestone next summer.

The innovative complex has been in the making for several years but has suffered a number of issues.

The centre is said to be the first of its kind in the world but has faced snags along the way due to the innovative design, project managers said.

Urban Sports Park - CGI courtesy Guy Hollaway Architects.(1717775)
Urban Sports Park - CGI courtesy Guy Hollaway Architects.(1717775)

Estimates placed the original six-storey design, proposed in 2015, as costing upwards of £14 million, double that of initial projections.

To cut costs it was decided to scale back the project by removing the top floor roof terrace, strengthening foundations and moving the boxing club from the basement to the ground floor.

It was decided the skate floors and climbing wall will remain on the middle floors but the building will now have four floors instead of the original six.

Now Jenner Contractors, the firm in charge of the build, are making “good progress” according to Kay Whitehead project manager of the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.

The Trust is funding the project and once complete it will be managed by the Shepway Sports Trust.

“We have gone up to the first floor, formed the bowls from moulds and reinforced with steel.

Inside the sports centre
Inside the sports centre

“This has been sprayed with concrete but the skate surface is still to be applied.

“The walls and lift shaft up to the second floor have also progressed.

“Opening will be in the summer 2019”, said Ms Whitehead.

The park will house three floors of skating, a boxing gym, function room, bouldering room, climbing wall and café.

In the last two months some of the most vital parts of the park were built.

They include the large skate bowls, which are said to be one of the reasons it will be an unusual asset.

Ms Whitehead added: “In the year leading up to the launch we will be looking at programming for the park including costs for ‘pay and play’ sessions as well as membership.”

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