Supported by Arca Architects, community enterprise Projekts MCR has submitted a planning application to transform its site under the Mancunian Way into a “national centre of excellence” for skateboarding.
Projekts currently operates the skatepark off the A6 in Ardwick, just outside the city centre, but has set out plans to expand its current base to include additional space for skating, an office, a café, and a viewing deck.
The not-for-profit organisation plans to expand the skatepark over a redundant slip road to the west, which will link to the existing skate park to the east of the site. Office space for Projekts will be located at the centre, and the external viewing deck will overlook both parks.
The group rents the space from Manchester City Council and has agreed a part-funding deal with Sport England via a grant, and said it has “other funding sources in the pipeline” for the £400,000 investment. A long-term let with the council was agreed earlier this year.
This investment is part of Projekts’ ambition to make Manchester what it claims would be “the world’s first city of skateboarding, [which] encourages skateboarding as a form of transport, fun and creative expression through improvements to infrastructure”.
Projekts said the expansion would help to “demystify” the sport and increase participation from ethnic minority groups and women, as well as making the skatepark “a national centre of excellence for the teaching and demonstration of skateboarding and wheeled extreme sports”.
The organisation said in recent years outreach programmes had helped to increase participation by women in skateboarding by 79%.
The design will also help to make the skatepark more accessible to disabled people and will introduce events space alongside other improved facilities including toilets and bathrooms.
Arca Architects, based in Altrincham, is headed up by John Lee, who is also a senior lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture.