BREAKING NEWS: Sovereign Skatepark closed down after inspection

Photo by Graham Huntley

Photo by Graham Huntley

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Sovereign Skatepark has been closed after an independent inspection found the wooden ramps were beyond repair.

The ramps were first installed in 2000 and over the last 16 years have served generations of skatepark users well.

Unfortunately, the cumulative impact of such prolonged and intensive use has taken a heavy toll on ramp surfaces and structures, added to by occasional incidents of vandalism and the exposed nature of the site on Eastbourne seafront.

Following a survey commissioned by Eastbourne Borough Council, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has carried out an extensive examination of the site and equipment.

In line with RoSPA recommendations, the site has been shut and the ramps will be removed.

Skatepark users can take advantage of other skateparks at Hampden Park, Gildredge Park and Shinewater Park.

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “These ramps have served the skateboarding community well, having undergone heavy duty use from skateboarders, BMX riders, skaters and scooters for over 15 years, and we have undertaken regular repairs for wear and tear as well as for damage caused by incidents of vandalism over the years.

“Following the closure we have locked the gates and there are fences around the site to prevent any access.

“Although the risks to safety may not be immediately visible, they are very real and warning signs should be adhered to.

“While it is disappointing for skatepark users not to have this facility available, their welfare is our paramount concern.”

The council will assess the cost of replacement with a view to including this in next year’s capital programme.