A former champion cyclist who is gearing up to create an indoor skate and BMX park in the Black Country has taken a big leap on the way to achieving his dream.
Gavin Pardoe, a former national time trial and road race champion, wants to transform a warehouse unit in Mill Race Lane into a £200,000 new state-of-the-art facility for skaters and riders of BMX bikes and scooters.
The new urban recreation centre, called unit3sixty, will feature a world championship standard indoor skate park with ramps, rails and jumps; an intermediate level skate park and a mini balance bike course for two to five-year-olds.
Landlords London & Cambridge Properties (LCP) today confirmed that the 22,029 sq ft warehouse unit at The Stourbridge Estate, adjacent to Stourbridge Ring Road, is now under offer subject to planning consent.
It currently has consent for general industrial use and planning permission is being sought to allow the new community and leisure enterprise to be established in the unit, said LCP sales negotiator Paula James.
Paula said: “Over a period of time The Stourbridge Estate has been evolving from a standard industrial estate to include trade centre and leisure uses. It already has an indoor karting centre, a children’s play centre and a pizza company.
“Consistent with our usual proactive management approach, we have constantly worked to keep the planning requirements at the site flexible as it is so close to the town centre and is therefore ideal for a range of uses. In this case we have worked alongside Gavin and the local authority in order to ensure that the project gains the required support and the letting of the property can be completed.”
Gavin, who works as watch commander at Stourbridge Fire Station, hopes to kit out the venue with a DJ school, graffiti walls, a street dance academy, a cafe and music and practice rooms for young musicians. The project, which will be run as a community interest company, has won the support of young skate and bike fans.
Gavin said: “We are currently in negotiation with a world-renowned skate park builder and, in order to bring the best park nationally to Stourbridge, we will be holding consultation events so that the end-users get valuable input into the features they would like to see inside.”
The venture has the full support of Dudley MBC and has recently been awarded a £40,000 Community Enterprise Fund grant to help kick-start the project. Gavin said other supporters include Stourbridge MP Margot James and council deputy leader Councillor Pete Lowe.
The project aims to provide the children and young people of the Dudley Borough with a place to explore new and innovative ideas through urban recreation and social inclusion as well as assisting them in maintaining a healthy active lifestyle.