The world’s largest underground skate park is almost ready for its grand opening tomorrow (Saturday).
Brothers Richard and Marc Moore have been waiting nearly three years for the skate park to come to life after approaching the council in 2013.
The 130-year-old former seafront swimming pool opposite Robertson Street features two skate parks, a shop, a cafe and space for 600 spectators.
“It’s so weird when you talk about the plans for so long and you dream about it and don’t really sleep and sometimes it feels like it’s not going to happen,” Richard said.
“It’s quite surreal actually to think how close we are now.
“It’s quite hard to appreciate as none of us are sleeping very much as we’re working so hard trying to get it finished.
The brothers, from Bexhill, founded The Source BMX in 2003 and it has grown into Europe’s largest mail order company. Now, they have a skate park and shop to fit their enormous worldwide status.
Some of the world’s best riders have come to check out the park with the opening day selling out in minutes.
“It might surprise people as it flies under the radar but it’s quite fitting for Hastings really,” Richard said.
Around £1.25m has been spent by The Source and Hastings Borough Council to bring the park to life.
Richard has done everything to make it as appealing as possible: super-fast broadband has been installed and sessions are kept relatively cheap to encourage people to use it.
The hope is that the park will turn Hastings into a global hub for the sport, as well as help to regenerate the town.
The first tournament is already organised – The Battle of Hastings – in September which will see 66 of the best BMX riders compete for a ‘substantial’ prize.
Lead member for regeneration and culture Dawn Poole said was very impressed.
“I think it’s going to bring so much to Hastings, in terms of regeneration, it’s going to bring a lot of people down to a part of the town that’s been quite quiet the last few years.
“I think this is what makes Hastings special is that we do things differently.”
Monster Energy sponsor The Source and one of its riders Ben Lewis came to do some promotional work.
Out of the thousands of skate parks he has seen, he said this was really unique architecturally and was itching to have a go.
“It’s fantastic – seeing it from the drawings on paper to real life, it’s even better than I imagined,” he said.
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