An incredible community effort has seen an Isle of Wight skatepark completely transformed in just over a week.

Volunteers have maintained Ventnor Skatepark for more than 20 years, and in 2019, a concrete base was installed at the site.

Unfortunately, Covid put paid to further plans, but a dedicated team of committee volunteers remained keen to progress a project to enhance the site.

In 2022, plans, reports and documentation had all been prepared, and the project was on the cusp of progressing when a sea wall collapsed in November, just metres away.

This led to uncertainty over the future of the site.

But John Cattle and Zoe Thompson of Island skate company, Wight Trash – both trustees of Ventnor Skatepark group – already had a successful DIY project in Ryde to their name, and it was decided that, as a small scale "meanwhile" project, it could be emulated in Ventnor to ensure the space remains usable in the short term.

(Image: Ventnor Skatepark Group.)

A crack team from Neverland Skateparks, who completed the Ryde project, were able to fit in a week between other mainland projects and agreed to return to the Island to hand-build a selection of concrete obstacles.

They started on Saturday, June 1, and with the weather on their side, they were able to complete the work in just a week or so.

The project to enhance Ventnor skatepark is now complete, and in record time, thanks to the team and the help of several volunteers.

“We were lucky to have Neverland Skate Parks back over for the build,” said John Cattle.

“And what a job they have done!

“We had a maximum budget of £8,000, which has all been raised through local donations.

(Image: Ventnor Skatepark Group)

“The community have really got behind this. 

“We couldn't do these types of projects if it wasn't for the Island’s building trades who offer discounts and go out of their way to help us.

“Wight Building Materials, Jewsons, Sydenhams and The Forge have been a huge support.

“It's awesome to see so many people already enjoying the park.”

Zoe Thompson, Ventnor Skatepark trustee, added: "For both Ryde and Ventnor, we have seen the community come together.

“For both projects, young people volunteered their time to help, working alongside experienced team members to learn new skills.

“Often, when looking at regenerating spaces, there can be a lot of consultation, but for us, it is essential there is real community engagement.

“Having local people helping to truly shape these types of facilities means we can use these as catalysts for more in the future". 

Ventnor Skatepark Group remains the leaseholders for the site and will now be working on the long-term future of the skatepark.

There will be further opportunities later in the year for the local community to get involved. 

Starting next month, John Cattle's Skate Club will be holding free skateboard lessons at the park for those new to skating or who want to develop their confidence in using the new obstacles.

Daisy Chapman trying out the new ramps. Photo by Angie Davies of the IW County Press Camera ClubDaisy Chapman trying out the new ramps. Photo by Angie Davies of the IW County Press Camera Club (Image: Angie Davies)