Skate Park

What Skate Park?

 In the 1990’s St Cleer fund raisers made an enormous effort to install a wooden skate park which was very well used and visited by people from all over Cornwall. However it had a finite life and in 2019, sadly, following RoSPA guidance Parish came to the conclusion that it was no longer fit for use and it was decommissioned.

A tender was developed and it was planned to fundraise and commission a new park in 2020 – and then the world changed a bit because of Covid 19. The Park is very much on the Parish agenda; but we have now back burnered all plans to at least January 2021 as so much is in flux and so many charitable funds have been channelled to the NHS charities and general pandemic relief.

The following document was published in July 2019 (and has been updated) as a commentary of how Parish goes about managing such a huge project.

skate ramp with children

From St Cleer News:

 Estates were asked to prepare a paper for Parish as to 'what next?' when it became clear that the skate park was coming to the end of it’s life. We had a special assessment done by RoSPA which indicated this, and that it was beyond repair. To be honest as a 100% wooden structure with metal edgings and handrails it had a fairly defined lifespan when it was installed and Parish had put aside £27K towards it in its 'reserves' or savings account.

To underpin the paper, we asked every company listed on the SAPCA's (Sports & Play Construction Association) website - 15 in all -to offer a like for like quote on refurbishment of the park. That doesn’t mean that we will replace the design as it was, but simply that all quotes would be comparable. The last thing we needed to do was to try and compare projects so widely different that the fundraising strategy, which has to underpin this, had no grounding.

St Cleer has a long history of fundraising for capital costs; i.e. the outlay of any such project. Parish follows this up with maintenance, insurance and care. With the outdoor gym, Parish benefitted from the 100% cost in a grant and a donation from the Community Group. To be prudent, we are now setting aside monies annually for its eventual replacement just as we have with the skate park and we are doing with the Horizon play park.

Cognisant of the need to tender for this project, this was a good way of getting in information about relative costs as they relate to various specifications.

So, the quotes have come in from a variety of manufacturers, metal, wood, composite and concrete.

The blessing on a ‘like for like quote’ is that an informed choice can now be made on how to progress the tender. Interestingly there has been quite some delay in quotes from concrete manufacturers as a number consider that they are at capacity. Hence the paper has taken longer to produce than any of us are happy with.

Estates will go over this paper in detail and amend it so that when it goes to Parish on the 24th July 2019 Parish will have a clear motion(s) to vote 'yes or no' to, since that it the blunt instrument of politics.

  • No will bounce it back to Estates
  • Yes will progress it to the inevitable fundraising and tendering
Basing what follows now on a No vote may mean a decision against replacing the skate park, votes of meetings cannot be prejudged. So if this is the case Estates will be asked to plan to manage the decision with the Community Engagement Group.

Basing what follows now on a Yes vote; simply put we cannot go out to tender if we don’t have the cash. Any replacement will cost more than the £27K we have in place, hence the Crowd funder Appeal and the lovely spring into action of the St Cleer Community Group who are already on the case. Why a £50K target? Because £75K plus the expenses associated made sense to me when I opened the account. We don’t pay VAT; so £90K spend is possible on that amount.

All ways forward are fraught; Concrete appeals to the users and is maintenance free, but cannot be put on top of Tarmac; Metal is noisy and concerns of heat burns and rashes if the coatings wear thin have been raised; Wood rots; Composite is costly. Then there is the impact on the environment to consider and last but by no means least access. Over a Cornish hedge with a road closure on a bus route or heavy machinery running the gauntlet of the football pitches?

Whilst we raise the cash - and we already have several trusts identified to apply to - we will develop the tender. This tender would be characterised by companies presenting their plans and that will involve them meeting community users of the services. We don not have any assumptions of what the newer parks would look like applied to the land at St Cleer, but we are told that design has ‘moved on apace’.

How is it that Parish has a plan for both routes forward? Well that’s what’s required of us.

I admit that there is more detail on a Yes vote than a No because Parish has been discussing replacement for a while but has not made that precise formal decision. That’s what is on the agenda for the 24th. In the run up to the meeting…. Help us to decide??


The following Skate Park Plan and motion were positively progressed at Parish and in May 2020; delayed due to Covid a decision to hold 2 companies in the Tender running was made, with a decision to defer to January 2021.