Gymnastics and skate park hub gets the green light from planners (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Gymnastics and skate park hub gets the green light from planners
GYMNASTS and skaters can look forward to showing off their skills in a new venue after a bid to create a shared hub for both sports was given the go-ahead by planners, as work begins to raise funds Work to transform the former Amdega warehouse on Faverdale Industrial Estate, in Darlington, into a joint gymnasium and indoor skate park will start this summer.
Darlington Gymnastics Club and 4Motion, a new group for wheeled sports, teamed up last year to find a building big enough to hold a gym for the club’s 544 members, as well as hosting the town’s first indoor skate park.
After planning permission for a change of use for the building was passed by Darlington Borough Council, both clubs must now turn their attentions to raising enough money for equipment and to complete structural work.
The two organisations are run separately, with the gymnastics club taking a third of the space, leaving two thirds of the warehouse to be kitted out with ramps, rails and jumps for skateboards, bikes and scooters.
Nigel Potter, of 4Motion, said it could cost up to £200,000 to fully fit out a skate park with high-end equipment, although the work will be done in stages.
Mr Potter said: “We’re hoping that both the skate park and the gymnasium will be open in some form by autumn, ahead of the dark nights coming in so that kids have somewhere to go.
“It will not be a cheap exercise to set up the skate park so we will do part of it before we move in and then continue to fundraise and add to it as time goes on. We’re looking at using a combination of grants and borrowing.
“We also want to get the kids involved in fundraising so they feel a sense of ownership. We’re looking at setting up apprenticeships to get young people involved in running the skate park.”
Helen Rondo, from the gymnastics club, said the initial focus for their section of the building was to do structural work, including pits for bar routines, before looking to buy extra equipment.
She said: “We’re going from 7,000sq metres up to 12,000 sq metres so it might look a bit sparse at first until we can get new equipment. We’ll be looking to develop the range of classes on offer, especially for disabled children, and we’re also considering introducing rhythmic gymnastics and free-running classes.
“It’s a huge project and we’re hoping to move at the end of summer.”
Both clubs are looking for sponsors or community groups who could help them with fundraising or by offering work in kind.
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