Site: Eccles Skate Park, Aylesford, Kent
Client: Aylesford Parish Council
Age range: From juniors to adults
What was the customer looking for?
Aylesford parish council contacted us as the existing skate park in Eccles was becoming a little tired and had clearly passed its prime; the council had repaired the site several times over the past years but had decided that now was the time to replace the park with a new one in time for the summer holidays. The idea of having a steel skate park with 20 years of guarantee on the metal work really appealed to the council so they came to us.
Did the customer have a specific idea about materials?
At first the customer was open to different kinds of materials as the existing ramps were constructed of a steel frame and wooden riding surface. Because of the repairs carried out in the past to the ramps the customer was keen to use a wooden surface again as this was a relatively quick fix if any maintenance was needed in the future, but once he had heard about our guarantees on our materials and after seeing the sample he was really keen to use an all steel construction.
Were there any particularities with the location?
Not really, the existing skate park was already situated on a tarmac pad and the customer was very keen to re uses the existing surface. The only change we made to the surfacing was to give it a nice recovering of tarmac to allow our ramps to sit nicely onto the surface and also removing ant imperfections left from the removal of the existing equipment.
Were there any community interests you had to consider?
On our initial visit the customer was happy for us to “go Nuts” within budget of course, so we came up with a design that we thought would fit into the area perfectly, after seeing our design the customer was really happy with this but because we like to get the users involved as early as possible in the project we suggested that we have a consultation day during the school holiday to help give the users ownership of the park. After meeting with the users they too also agreed with our design and were happy for us to proceed.
How was the equipment used to suit this project?
After visiting the site we had seen that the existing planter was very popular so this was one key element to incorporate into the new layout, due to the nature of the existing pad being long but narrow we felt that a good combination of a half pipe and flat banks would be Suited to the area so that the users could choose to stay within the self-contained half pipe section or by using the flat banks to get enough speed to flow to the rest of the equipment.
What do you like the most about this Skate design?
The thing we like most about this project is that the local users have also had input into the design along with local residents. The design also sits nicely within the area allowing good views through the park therefore making it less intrusive to the views and surroundings.
What do you think children will enjoy the most of this play area?
The best thing about this park is that the users and residents had input in the design from the beginning meaning that they are getting a park that they wanted; therefore they should enjoy all aspects of the park as it’s what they wanted.
Is the customer happy with the result? What are their comments?
Neil Harris, Clerk at Aylesford parish council was very happy with the skate park from the early stages of the designs right through to the installation and completion, he liked the fact that we got as many local people involved from the early part of designing the park so that it was a park that would be respected and looked after, throughout the installation we received many calls from the local users eager to find out when they can use the park.