Almost a year after closing its doors for the final time, ambitious plans for a new purpose-built Rush Skatepark have been revealed.
A registered charity, Rush Sports Community Trust CIO has been formed and Chair of Trustees Debbie Bird showed Stroud Times around the 16-acre proposed site off the A38, at Putloe near Moreton Valence, close to Junction 13 of the M5.
“We’ve got an option for this land, and we’ve got two years to get planning permission for a skatepark. When we get planning permission, we then have to pay for the land,” explained Debbie.
“Obviously we’ve got to put together the funds for that, but we’ve got some big fundraising plans in place, so now it’s all about doing surveys, getting a pre-planning application and getting the plans ready so we can apply for planning permission.
“All along the way we need to raise money, basically we need funds to just get this going – the first pot of money is about £20-25,000 and the second pot for the planning is about £200,000 and then we’re still in discussions about how much it will cost to build the park itself, but we’re talking millions of pounds.”
The Trust aims to make Rush bigger and better than ever: “We’ve got grand ideas, we’ve talked to British Cycling and we’ve talked to Sport England,” said Debbie.
“British Cycling is looking for a home and they need big stadia with broadcast facilities and where spectators can watch events.
“It could be two or three times the size of the old Rush. We’ll aim to have a permanent toddler area, a beginner’s area, and then obviously competition space and a spectator area so people can come and bring the whole family.”
Rush was set up at Brimscombe Port in 2013 and gained an international reputation with Olympic medallists training at the park near Stroud, which attracted visitors from across the country.
The aim is to open the new skatepark in three years time, but Debbie admits that might be ambitious: “On the website we’re saying 2025 but everything’s got to go really well for that to happen, but it’s our goal.”
A gofundme campaign is running: RUSH SPORTS COMMUNITY TRUST Charity Profile Page (gofundme.com)
“I am really pleased to have got to this first milestone, it is very exciting, but this is just a first step… we need everyone to do their bit and the dream can become a reality,” added Debbie.