Proposed New Sports Centre “May Be a World First”
A new indoor centre offering a range of challenging sports is being proposed for a key site in the centre of Folkestone. The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, which owns the former bingo hall and Coop buildings at the junction of Dover Road and Tontine Street, has commissioned preparatory work for plans that will now go out to public consultation, as part of a process that will lead to a formal planning application. The objective is to provide a major new indoor activity centre that will be an exemplar of its kind, offering access to young people who live locally at heavily subsidised rates.
The proposals were announced by the Trust at the skate park known as “The Shed”, currently run by Folkestone Youth Project, one of the groups invited to join discussions about activities at the new centre.
Chair of Folkestone Youth Project Damian Collins welcomed the news: “The proposals outlined here would bring provision for young people in Folkestone to a new level, and would help to establish permanent amenities that would be the envy of any town in the south east.”
Initial designs have been prepared by Guy Hollaway Architects, working in conjunction with consultants who have nationally recognised expertise in designing facilities for challenging sports. Potentially the new building would be able to accommodate skateboarding and scooters at beginner, intermediate and competition levels, together with facilities for trial cycling, boxing and climbing. Guy Hollaway said that the new centre may well be the first of its kind in the world, combining a unique blend of challenging sports with an innovative and exciting design.
Exploratory discussions have taken place with potential partners, who are being invited to contribute views and ideas as the plans take shape. A public consultation event will take place on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 May at Sunflower House, Foord Road, so that local people and future users can see current proposals for themselves and express their views. Details on how people can have their say will be posted here and on our Facebook Page.