Published: Friday, 16th June 2023
People are being urged to come and have their say on some exciting plans for potential investment in, and redevelopment of, the Kaset Skate Park, and adjacent area, at Lynnsport in King’s Lynn.
An online consultation, which will begin on 19 June 2023 and run until 3 July 2023, is seeking views from users and non-users of Lynnsport and Kaset about the potential redevelopment of the skate park to provide a brand-new, free-to-use, competition-standard outdoor facility, alongside additional indoor gamified activities within the existing building.
While much-loved by the community that use it, the indoor skate park is underused with, on average, around three visits per hour during its opening hours. The equipment within Kaset is not competition standard and is becoming old and tired, requiring significant investment, which is not currently justifiable given the low usage.
Cllr Simon Ring, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, explained:
"I've had a look at the existing usage and at the comments that have been made about Kaset. I understand that for the small community of people that use it, Kaset is a valuable facility.
"However, we have to take into account the wider community, and the fact that this facility is to a large extent subsidised by the borough's council tax payers. Any investment into the centre needs to bring something new that attract new visitors, maximise participation, be accessible to a broader range of people and above all secure the centre's future viability.
"With some further investment, creative thinking and innovative changes, we could provide a fantastic competition standard, free-to-use, concrete skatepark that is accessible 24-7, and cater for more people by offering a range of modern, exciting leisure activities that encourage physical activity for children and young people through having fun."
Current usage averages 100 visits a week, or around 3 visits per hour. Running costs far exceed income. Increasing the fee per visit has been explored, but this would make it prohibitively expensive for most existing users and would not encourage new users.
The borough council has funded some feasibility work to explore alternative uses for the space to complement and enhance current facilities on the Lynnsport site.
The additional activities that would benefit the wider community can only be offered by developing an outdoor skatepark, freeing up the internal space within Kaset for the development of other activities.
Initial ideas have been drawn together which could include activities such as a Tag Active Arena - the space is split into zones with obstacle courses. Each zone contains a large number of illuminated TAGs. Players collect points by 'tagging' these with a sensor on their wristband, the points value of each TAG being determined by the degree of difficulty in reaching it. Other activities could include X Height - a clip-and-climb activity, Aerial Assault - a boulder wall, and Cyber Towers - which have an element of tag-active technology built in. These activities would be suitable for a range of ages and encourage fitness, competition, bravery and a mix of mental and physical agility.
The consultation will be seeking feedback on the proposals for additional activities as well as comments and input on the proposals for a potential new outdoor skatepark.
Two face-to-face drop-in sessions will be taking place at Lynnsport on 22 June and 29 June between 5pm and 7pm where people will be able to discuss the initial ideas, new activities and potential suggestions for a new skate park, providing feedback direct to skate park specialists. There will also be opportunities to provide feedback on the other activities being suggested with members of Alive West Norfolk on hand to answer any questions.
For those unable to make the drop-in sessions, further details about the proposals can be seen on lynnsportleisuredevelopment.co.uk, where a link to the online survey can also be found. The online survey will be available from 19 June until 3 July.