THE wheels are finally off the ground for the much anticipated Lyme Regis skatepark.
And the first young skaters could be showing off their stunts by Christmas at the park, which is being made to echo the wall of Lyme’s iconic Cobb.
The decision to award the £150,000 contract to construction company Wheelscape was made at the last full council meeting, and brings an end to the long-running campaign to have a skatepark at the Charmouth Road Car Park.
Wheelscape will now hold a meeting within the next two weeks with potential skatepark users to make minor adjustments to the design before they submit it to West Dorset District Council.
Wheelscape manager Matthew Hewitt said: “Wheelscape Skateparks are delighted to have been chosen to build the Skatepark in Lyme Regis.
“Although the site presented us with significant challenges we are pleased the users and Lyme Regis Town Council selected our proposal. We look forward to developing the design with the local wheeled sports community and hope this facility generates significant interest from the surrounding area.”
Committee secretary of the community-led skatepark fundraising committee, Cheryl Reynolds, right, is delighted that the project is finally coming to fruition. She said: “My son is 48-years-old and we have been campaigning for a skatepark in the town since he was young.
“The skatepark would be brilliant for Lyme Regis because there is not much for kids to do here – it would provide something new and I’m sure it would be very appreciated. Hopefully by September the skatepark will be started, and by December it should be finished.”
Talking about the proposal from Wheelscape, Steven Sherlock, from Beauchamps surveyors which managed the tender process on behalf of the council, said: “The skate park needs to look like an attractive piece of equipment in Lyme Regis.
“This skate park has level access. The back wall of one of the ramps has been designed to look like the Cobb wall.
“Wheelscape have built it to be a Lyme Regis skate park.
“It means that it will be a place people want to come to. It will be for local people but it will also become a tourist attraction.”
Wheelscape will build the multi-wheeled skate park at a cost of £150,000, which works out at a cost of £294 per square metre. The other company who created a proposal, Bendcrete, would have cost £389 per square metre with a total cost of £149,663.75.
Town Clerk John Wright said: “We came to the view that the Wheelscape skatepark proposal was the best one. They have put a lot of thought into the design, and it was designed with Lyme Regis in mind.
“We were looking for who provides the most skatepark for the least amount and this was Wheelscape by a significant factor of about 15 to 20 per cent.
“By Christmas this year, we could have a skate park.”
Cllr Mark Gage praised the fundraising effort for the skatepark by the local community and labelled it as a ‘historic decision’ to give the project the green light.
The decision to award the contract to Wheelscape was greeted with cheers by a group of young skaters at the meeting and Cllr Lucy Campbell added: “I am so pleased we have got to this point and thrilled it is going to happen.”