Source Park, a state-of-the-art facility for BMX riders and skaters housed in a one-time Victorian swimming pool and Turkish baths, has been honoured for their renovation innovation of a rescued historic building.
Source Park in Hastings, England attracts BMX riders and skaters from around the world to its premises amid the splendour of original features including mosaic pillars, brass handrails and the original steam engine pump.
A blend of old and modern, Source Park, which opened in March 2016, was recently awarded Historic England’s accolade for Best Rescue of a Historic Building in the Angel Awards 2017.
Located in the heart of Hastings in East Sussex next to the pier on the seafront, the building, which was originally built in 1874 as Turkish baths, is mainly underground.
Source Park is the creation of brothers and avid BMX riders, Marc and Rich Moore. The brothers saw the potential to create a new park for BMX riding and skating right under the seafront.
Rich and Marc Moore came to the rescue of a derelict building that local authorities did not know what to do with. So they raised seed funding of £49,000 through their BMX bike store, The Source, to help rescue the site.
The brothers were also awarded £1.2 million through a successful application to the Coastal Community Fund 3, in partnership with Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.
Historic England say: “The project has stimulated regeneration of the White Rock area and contributed to its growing appeal as a hub for young people. What was once a disused Victorian building that reflected the faded glory of a declining seaside town, has become a vibrant new space that is helping to put Hastings back on the map.”
The renovated building now houses a main skatepark consisting of a mixture of bowls, transfers, wall rides, ledges and rails, as well as a cafe, arcade area and viewing balcony.
The Plaza area features smaller ramps and a more street orientated design than the main skatepark. It also has a small mini ramp and a foam pit which makes it more suitable for the beginner or intermediate.
Source Park, which is now an Olympic-standard training facility, has created 30 jobs in an area with high unemployment.
Rich and Marc Moore are continuing to find creative ways to ensure that the project grows sustainably and develops the skills of people in the local community. They are developing local BMX talent through a coaching programme with the University of Brighton.
Source Park has also teamed up with language schools to offer foreign students the chance to practice their English and master BMX riding at the same time.
It is intended that further investment from the Coastal Community Fund will enable them to start an Olympic-standard BMX coaching programme.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea