HASTINGS could become a world-famous skating and BMX centre if ambitious plans to expand the skate park bear fruit, it has been claimed.
Matt Davey, a well-known local skateboarder who was instrumental in supporting the state-of-the-art skatepark in Falaise Road which opened last summer, said the town could be one of the leading European centres for alternative sports if his ambitious plans come to fruition.
He is trying to raise £500,000 for phase two of the skatepark, which would be based on what local youngsters want to see, with a street theme to encourage riders off the roads.
“We have had a really successful year since the new skate park opened and it well and truly puts Hastings on the map,” he said. “But it’s only half-built in my mind and if we can complete it this town will be the premier place to come. There’s a lot of money in alternative sports too so it will bring in lots of people and get the big brands like Quicksilver and Billabong interested.
“The town has really embraced it and we are very fortunate that a lot of key decision makers at the council are really on board, people like Keith Duly.
“We have shown how popular these sports are by the success of the Boyley Jam and the Battle of Hastings events - I think we should market the town on its alternative sports, we’ve got skating the BMX facilities, kayaking, kite surfing.”
Mr Davey is currently preparing a lottery bid to try and secure funding for the skate park, alongside other moneymaking schemes like a big Christmas raffle.
“The lottery people prefer it if you can show that the community is behind it and some of the raffle prizes we have got are absolutely mind blowing, including a signed Tony Hawk skateboard, a brand new snowboard and kit worth £2,000.”
This summer the Boyley Jam takes place on Saturday, August 20 with the Battle of Hastings junior event taking place a week later. And Cllr Trevor Webb, lead member for leisure at Hastings Borough Council, said: “This just proves how popular the existing facilities are, which have been used and appreciated by many, even attracting visitors from abroad. If Mr Davey manages to raise the funds, then it will certainly help to put Hastings on the map, which can only be good news for the local residents and regeneration of our town.”