Contractor Appointed For Folkestone’s New Indoor Multi -Sports Centre

The main contractor has been appointed for the construction of Folkestone’s new Urban Sports Park (USP), which will be built on a town centre site at the junction of Dover Road and Tontine Street. Shepway Sports Trust has commissioned Westridge Construction, based in Ashford, to carry out the main work on the building, which has been designed by Guy Hollaway Architects.

The project has incorporated comments that were made during several rounds of consultation with the public and potential users of the USP, and reflects expert input from Maverick Industries, specialists in skate park design. The project was unanimously supported by councillors at a planning committee in February 2016. Preparations will take place soon for construction to begin, with a target date of late summer 2017 for completion. The site is being provided by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, which is also funding the full cost of development and construction.

The USP will incorporate facilities for skateboarding and scootering, with several floors that can be configured to suit different levels of proficiency. It will also include a climbing wall over three storeys, whose layout can be changed periodically to offer different challenges to regular users, and bouldering, an activity that is gaining in popularity and where the course can be similarly altered to provide variations in layout. There will also be facilities for trials bike riding and boxing.

It is envisaged that the facilities in the centre will appeal to a broad range of age groups, and will offer a different kind of sporting activity to that available through more traditional sports. It is thought that the USP represents a “world first”, bringing together a unique range of sporting options in a town centre setting. Car parking will be available on site, and local residents will be able to access the amenities at preferential rates, whilst visitors from further afield are expected to be attracted by the unique range of sports and the quality of the facility that is offered. The building will also provide a café and a rooftop penthouse space that can be hired for special events, such as birthdays or other celebrations.

Westridge Construction Managing Director, Steve Phillips said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this prestigious contract. Being based locally, it is good to see so many significant developments that are helping to make Folkestone and other towns in Kent more attractive places in which to live and work, and we are proud that we can be part of this process.”

The Urban Sports Park will be managed by Shepway Sports Trust. Trustee Dan Hulme said:

“We are excited that this concept is about to become a reality. It represents a great opportunity for local people to engage in a range of sports and we believe this will also provide yet another reason for people to visit Folkestone. The appointment of Westridge follows a rigorous selection process to identify a contractor that could deliver this challenging project on time and to the highest standard.”