In 2004 a group of 50 skateboarders petitioned Hereford City Council to consider building a skatepark. Encouraged by local councillor, Marcelle Lloyd-Hayes, who was determined that local money should be used to help local young people, the skateboarders gave a presentation to a council meeting but were unsuccessful in securing the funds.
Keeping the faith, Marcel rallied skaters, parents, two councillors, a youth worker and a representative from HVA. They formed and constituted a campaign group Wheeled Sports 4 Hereford (WS4H) to raise funds to create a skatepark that was free to use with 24/7 access.
At the time, the police were receiving frequent complaints about skateboarding. Marcelle and the team convinced the police that building a skatepark would be good for them and the local skateboarders. The police got behind the project and gave their highest ever contribution of £10,000 from their community fun towards the skatepark.
From the beginning there was a will amongst many local people to help the project and quickly the constituted body became a charity, enabling it to apply for funding.
By 2005, the project was well and truly underway. The city council eventually agreed a lease for the old Denco car park in Holmer Road and planning permission quickly followed. Wheelscape Skateparks were chosen for their vision to build a state of the art outdoor skatepark here in Hereford.
The designer at Wheelscape Jeremy Donaldson, was a skateboarder and architect who wanted to make sure the skatepark would retain the interest of users for many years and after a number of meetings to gather input from local riders, Jeremy and his team produced a design that all were happy with.
By 2007/8 the planning permission had almost expired and although the project team had raised a significant amount of money, it wasn’t enough to complete the design in one go, so the project was split into three phases.
In 2008 phase 1 was opened, followed by phase 2 in 2009 and phase 3 in 2012. By this time, a grand total of £420,000 had been raised and spent on what was now one of the largest, and according to many professional skateboarders, one of the best skateparks in the country.
With the skatepark’s initial design complete, WS4H turned its attention to increasing access. Since the completion of Phase 1,we had offered skateboard coaching but now the team began to think about taking this further and funding was secured for floodlights, clubhouse and shop. Jay, one of the skatepark coaches, came up with the idea of converting two shipping containers to mimic a 1980s “Boom Box” hi-fi. In 2014 we teamed up with Lion Containers who built the two units in Birmingham, brought them to Hereford and craned them into position. The Boom Box shop and clubhouse is still thriving today and Hereford Skatepark remains the only free outdoor park to have a proper skate shop.
Over the years, as well as building one of the biggest outdoor skateparks in the UK, the project team have been keen to offer more than the skateboarding experience at the skatepark. As well as holding comps and other skateboarding events, other projects include:
Hosting live music
Holding dj, film, breakdance, and graffiti events
Organising skate demos in the city centre
Holding girl skate days and evenings
Charity events such as the Skate for Cancer Day
Being part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch journey
Community gardening with Holmer Allotments (winning RHS Award)
From the beginning the skatepark has always been seen as a community. The project team wanted to build a safe place for people to enjoy the sport they love. The current team want to sustain this ethos making Hereford Skatepark one the best and most inclusive parks in the UK. Read more about the plans for the next phase of our skatepark here.