According to Sophie Dickinson, a writer for TimeOut magazine, the new F51 park in Folkestone, Kent, has become “an unlikely mecca for skateboarders, BMXers and rock climbers”.
The project was initially supposed to be a car park, which is why the building looks nothing like a regular skate park. But when the local skate park needed to relocate, the designers thought the space is excellent for the task.
Funded by The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and run by local sports charity, The Sports Trust, Folkestone 51 is now the world’s first purpose built multi-storey skatepark. Only a 54 minute train journey from London St Pancras, it is home to the largest lead climbing wall in the South East UK while also featuring bouldering facilities and a boxing gym.
Equipped with our friendly team of coaches, our venue is for everyone, no matter where your level of skill or confidence is.F51
With three floors dedicated to skateboarding, including two world class suspended concrete bowls, F51 has turned heads both nationally and internationally. “The design, location and conception aims to revolutionise the way we look at town/city spaces and how we can incorporate more facilities for sport and young people within town centres that may already feel cramped and populated”, reads their website.
F51 seeks to put skaters, BMXers and climbers at the forefront of Folkestone, celebrating existing talent and encouraging new beginners to get involved through a range of lessons and inclusive sessions to ensure that there is something for everyone.F51
The facility has 3 different floors dedicated specifically to skateboarding, including the bowl floor, which is home to the world’s first concrete suspended bowls and features pool coping, tiles, oververt, skateable pillars and extensions.
F51 is also great for climbing, featuring 15m high lead walls and over 580 sqm of climbable surface spread over the lead wall and bouldering facility. There 15 climbing lines and over 30 graded routes with vertical, slab and steep overhang roof sections. The main wall also includes two dedicated speed climbing walls with auto belays and speed timers to test speed and endurance.
Lastly, there are also boxing courses offered through the Folkestone ABC club, which has been running in the local community since 1970. The club is a registered charity and through the sport of boxing it helps instil discipline and respect in individuals which they then carry through the rest of their lives.