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Ideal Eyes Blog

The story of Botley skate park

Posted by Andrea Spencer

Back in 1991 - over 20 years ago now, the skate bowl in Upper Louie Memorial Field was the object of a particularly severe arson attack.

Ever since the attack and the subsequent in-filling of the bowl, the youngsters of the area were left with an insufficiency of recreational facilities, leading to trouble and disruption in areas such as the West Way shopping precinct.

Impasse in 2013

The initial estimates for rebuilding the much missed facility came in at around £60,000, a figure that coupled with concerns of anti social behaviour proved to the North Hinksey Parish Council to  be too high. The risks of un-established funding, high maintenance costs and anti social behaviour from youngsters in the area prevented the discussions continuing in January 2013.

In summer last year, the whole campaign was still at an impasse leaving campaigners in favour of increasing the leisure and recreation facilities in Botley and Hinksey, at a stand-still. However, September saw a sea-change with an influx of funding from various sources and a new site proposal being accepted.

New site, new impetus

Originally the campaign had hoped to create new facilities near to Botley and Hinksey, to replace the filled in skate bowl. However the promise of £320,000 secured funding for the permanent skate park in Meadow Lane, East Oxford.

It has taken many years and many signatures to get to the point they are now at - Near completion.

Wet weather caused some delays in the past few weeks, but since the flooding has died down, "things are moving along quite nicely" - Jack Richens, Oxford Wheels Project. Mr Richens went on to say, "It's looking great. The nerves are giving way to excitement at last. There has been a lot of anxiety and anticipation"

Part of the funding has been supported by the nearby Mini plant. Oxford Wheels project have arranged several skateboarding coaching sessions for employees and their families during school holidays, in return for the support.

Campaigners for the facility must be feeling simply ecstatic with the results of their 20 year campaign, finally reaching fruition and with maintenance costs covered, the future is looking good for enthusiastic young skaters.

Inspiration and photograph taken from

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