Umina Beach skate park development confirmed

The development of a new regional skate facility at Umina Beach has been confirmed following calls to have an accessible network of ‘high-quality multi-purpose, inclusive skateparks’ across the Coast.

The decision comes after Council decided to adopt the first region wide Skatepark Strategy at Council’s ordinary meeting on June 15.

The Draft Skatepark Strategy 2020 aims to coordinate the future planning, management and maintenance of recreation assets, and identify priorities to inform the development, upgrade and maintenance of skate facilities across the Coast.

The Strategy identifies that the development of the Umina facility will occur over the next one to three years.

It is expected the regional skatepark will be large enough to cater to multiple user styles and levels of proficiency in a central accessible area.

The Strategy states a regional facility would be over 1,500 square metres or in a significant location and would provide access for high level competitions and training and attract rides from across and outside of the area.

It is also anticipated the skatepark would be close to transport nodes, commercial or community centres and services.

The Strategy also identifies there to be a longer-term introduction of spot facilities in the Woy Woy/Empire Bay area to be developed within the next eight to 10 years.

A ‘spot’ facility is an incidental skate space or elements integrated into urban spaces and places as opportunities to provide skate function.

These spaces are generally under 200 square metres, have limited function for multiple activities, and are generally single focus for mainly intermediate and beginner skaters.

The site is expected to be adjacent to local youth services, major public transport and town centres.

The draft plan was placed on public exhibition for a period of 28 days from October 2 to October 30, 2020, on the Council’s Your Voice Our Coast website.

Council said they received a total of 17 public submissions during the exhibition period, with no requests relating to the Umina facility or spot facilities in Woy Woy and Empire Bay.

Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said that community participation played an important role in the development of the Skatepark Strategy.

“Information gathered from engagement activities, such as workshop events, surveys and forums, provided valuable insight and helped Council develop a strategy that reflects what the community want and need,” Hart said.

“This strategy helps secure funding and sets a framework to ensure resources are appropriately allocated in the short, medium and long term to develop and maintain purpose built, safe and engaging skateparks and recreation areas equitably across our region for the benefit they provide to our community.”

Council said the new skateparks identified in the Strategy will be funded through a combination of local infrastructure contributions for new development and grants.

Maisy Rae