A charity, which rose from the ashes of Rush Skatepark in Stroud, could be on the verge of creating a new sporting venue of national significance in Gloucestershire.
The Rush Sports Community Trust, a charity formed following the forced closure of the former Brimscombe business, is in the process of raising funds to put its plans to Stroud District Council.
If successful, it could see a 11,148 metre-squared venue built for fans of BMX, skateboard and scooters to ride and compete with seating for spectators and commentary facilities that will make it attractive to the likes of British Cycling for national and international events.
Plans also include a shopping arcade, workshop, storage, broadcast facilities, parents area, soft play space and café, with an aim to make the site a sustainable business with a strong community focus.
Debbie Bird, chairwoman of the Trustees of Rush Sports Community Trust, said: ‘We have been working on this for the last 18 months. We signed the option on the land in the summer and now have less than two years in which to win planning.’
The first hurdle will be raising the necessary funds, an estimated £100,000, to ready its planning application. Money will pay for everything from a traffic survey for the proposed site, off the A38 between Junction 12 and 13 of the M5, to landscaping.
‘We are in the early stages of fundraising, but would encourage everyone, from businesses to individuals to get involved and help make this happen and create a major asset for the county. More details are on our website and Crowdfunding page,' said Bird.
Once won, the team will then face the even greater challenge of raising as much as £6 million to £7 million to build the venue, but it remains confident and said if all goes to plan, doors could open for 2025.
A video showing how the new skatepark could look is already available on the trust's website and conversations have been underway for some time with Sport England, which holds the purse strings to potential funding for the project, as well as with UK sport governing body British Cycling.
The award-winning Five Valley’s Rush Skatepark was founded by Jerry and Michelle Norman in 2013 and became not just a focal point of the community but a training ground for some of the nation’s best talent as well as respected competition space.
Rush Skatepark was forced to close following the decision by Stroud District Council to redevelop the historic canal-side port.