Published: 06:00, 15 February 2021
Construction of Folkestone's unique urban sports park is set to be completed this summer.
F51 will be the world's first multi-storey skate park and is being built on the corner of Tontine Street and Dover Road.
It will include suspended concrete skating bowls on the first floor, plus plywood ramps and street-scene skating, which will also be suitable for BMX usage, on the second and third levels.
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.
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.
A spokesman for the Folkestone-based builders said: "The external facade, a unique and impressive bespoke aluminium mesh system, has proven to be an intellectual and logistical challenge for the team.
"Design changes were essential to ensure they were fit-for-purpose and accurately link together piece-by-piece like a gigantic jigsaw with every panel being bespoke, along with minute tolerances within the manufactured panel and structural load, and an installation regime that has to be managed incredibly carefully.
"Two floors of the facade are now complete but the third and final tier has been significantly delayed as a direct consequence of the enforced lockdown of the Spanish facade cassette supplier, owing to their own ongoing national pandemic challenges and the regional restrictions this has ultimately imposed."
But despite the pandemic, work is still progressing on site.
Laurence Hickmott, chief executive of Shepway Sports Trust, 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."
Construction has continued with enhanced safety procedures and new ways of working in place since the outbreak of Covid, says Jenner.
Martin Sandall, managing director of the firm, added: “In essence, the project has been held captive at the hands of Covid-19 for many months now which is incredibly frustrating not only for us as the main contractor but more so for our client who are solely dedicated to the regeneration of Folkestone and recognise the importance of sport within the local community.
"We want to get the doors of this exciting landmark building open as soon as we can, and are doing everything within our power to drive the project forwards."