Skatehouse DIY – Lewes, England

This all began for me at the luxurious point at which £20,000 of funding had already been secured by a local skatepark development worker, however it became clear that the funders didn’t actually want to part with the money for various reasons and seemed pretty negative when they realised I had half a clue as to how to pull this off!

I found the unit and secured it on thin air, just this mythical £20,000 that we didn’t see a penny of for another two months, meantime as we couldn’t dig down we set about acquiring hardcore, and anything that could be buried to make the sub structure.

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The funders then got real picky about the lease on the unit which meant expensive letters back and forth to solicitors but eventually they had no more grounds to hold back and we started to get the funding paid direct to a local builders’ merchants.

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We then started to buy the tools and materials we needed and the army of volunteers started to grow.

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We shifted over 500 tonnes of hardcore and junk into place and the concrete started to go down.
It’s been a weird 11 months being able to order whatever we wanted regarding materials yet unable to purchase a sandwich or buy a tea as none of the budget was allocated for the build crews needs!

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About six months ago Skiff came on board and it was great to have another committed fool turning up daily, haha.

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We’re now really close to completing the small bowled area at the back and it will function as a fundraiser for the rest of the build, we have the place for another 18 months before it gets demolished and we intend to build as much crazy shit as funds and volunteers allow!
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We’ve had some amazing visitors including Ben from Mechelen and Daryl who gave his time and built us an amazing transition table which has made such a difference. Felix has also spent a few days here too and shared a load of his knowledge and experience with us.
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We also had the entire Lifeblood / Independent crew stay here after their ten day Euro tour, they were so stoked to see the place, or maybe just glad to see a roof before they closed their eyes??
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The most amazing thing is the number of youngsters who travel regularly to come and pitch in, massive thanks to Bailey, Ezra, Alex, Josh and Daniel.

So we’re at the stage now of hosting our first jam which will be a mini ramp jam this Saturday with the under 18’s in the afternoon and the over 18’s in the evening, hopefully our pizza oven will be finished in time, if not just old fashioned Curry, Beer ‘n’ BBQ will do the trick!!
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So stoked to have this opportunity to just build whatever we want with no rules other than common decency to all!!
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Words by India Nick
Photos by David Östlund (dailygrind.se)
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New mini bow (minus the coping & platform)

New mini bow (minus the coping & platform)

Skatehouse DIY – Stevie Thompson & Pat

17 thoughts on “Skatehouse DIY – Lewes, England

  1. That is so cool what you guys did!!!! I have an old workshop here in Melbourne Australia that I’m thinking about building some ramps in.To watch you guys do what you did has inspired me to think about it even more.I am a concreter and have worked on a few concrete skate parks. To watch you guys mix the conc in a mixer by hand is real dedication and inspiring to see you guys do what it takes to get it done!!!!Hats of too you rad barstards!!!SK8 2 CREATE!!

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  4. Confused by the is article, please get in touch with the skatehouse crew to find out what really happened! not what Nick likes to think and say what happened…

  5. this place was amazing till nick had to go india to build another park. now it has lost its charm and all the builders, local support and the respect for us and the people that really made this place possible, coz with out nick this place wouldnt have NEVER got off the ground.

  6. I ruined this project by listening to Ian and ollie swine. The place was much better with Nick around. I am just very upset that things turned out like this i would love to get Nick back on and do this proper with out the 2 tramps.
    R.I.P SKATEHOUSE

    See y’all…Skiff

  7. I know more and more people are thinking I’m a psychopath, a person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse, yet I can tell you “they are all liars, fools and muppets.. You guys that think I’m the best thing since sliced bread are right to think that, Unfortunately the gossips are working overtime with their lies trying to sully my name, actions don’t speak louder than words, well anyway their just jealous because everything I give my precious time to turns to gold, thats why they are not here to share my success in realising you can type in anyones name in comments responses and make up any old crap and most people will go along with it…

  8. You might like to read my interview with the local rag “the Argus” I’ve put link here as my website.. 23rd January 2013

    The Skate House indoor skate park and art project in Lewes needs just £400 to finish the remaining work, including the building of ramps.

    The group has so far spent around £20,000 building the indoor park at the Phoenix Industrial Estate.

    A volunteer working at the site said: “We are short of around £400. After that we can be open to the public as much as possible and begin to make our own money for the community.

    “We’re more than just a skate park though. We’re a place for people to get together as a community. We have a pizza oven, barbecue and refreshments. This project is for the whole town, not just a select few.”

    If you want to see my photo again go the website link, like this article I wrote for confused I made sure that I was the only one on site when the photographer turned up!

    Volunteers at the project have spent up to 18 months building the park, unfortunately when I sorted out the public liability insurance I told them the build would be done in six weeks and we would have 10 different sections mini ramp, bowls etc.. They charged us £1600 based on that information.. I love spending other peoples money…. Skater boy ahoy! Peace..

  9. this place is awesome, went there recently, they are just about getting their sh~*t together, anyway I digress its an awesome little park with the smoothest concrete thanks to Skiff. Once the street section is finished it will be amazing.. Definitely the place to go.. The guy called Nick wasnt there but it doesnt matter, its great.

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  11. A new indoor skate park – The Skatehouse – was officially opened on the Phoenix Industrial Estate in Lewes on Friday January 24.

    Lewes MP Norman Baker cut the ribbon at the unveiling ceremony. The Mayor of Lewes, Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe, the Chairman of Lewes District Council, Cllr Michael Chartier, and Cllr Rob Blackman were also in attendance at Unit 8.

    The Skatehouse came about when Oliver Swayne pitched his idea on the Channel 4 show ‘The Stake’. He received 904 stakes from the skateboarding and BMX communities to win £20,000 from the Barclays Bank money skills national programme.

    The entrants needed to carry out a series of online challenges, including winning public support and setting out financial plans, which showed their idea could be a success.

    Ollie has worked in partnership with a number of key local activists including Ian Freeston, who has acted as skilled builder, organiser and mentor to the team of volunteers which has turned the idea into a fully functioning skate park. Ian said: “The opening of The Skatehouse is fantastic news for young people in Lewes. It has been a long and difficult journey and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Lewes District Council and Clive Wilding from the Santon Group.”

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