FOR those in the know it is a treasured assest for the town, but there are those who are unawares of Newton Abbot’s indoor skatepark, which is a shame, for big plans are afoot behind the scenes.
The Lodge, so named by the very people who built it up into what it is today, began, as everything does, as an idea; something grand and without limit, a dedicated space for young people with a particular interest in wheel-based sports to come together and just have fun.
Once a BMX oriented shop with an indoor ramp, The Lodge Skatepark began in earnest in 2014 and has since become a staple of the indoor skatepark circuit.
In the years that followed the Lodge went from strength to strength, cementing itself not only within the skating community, but also within the town of Newton Abbot.
‘We have just built it up and built it up and built it up - it’s really good that we are still here, especially when you look at the other indoor skateparks acros the country that have folded’ said Nikki Taylor, Chairman of The Lodge charity.
‘The Lodge is far more than people first think’ she added.
It is first and foremost a space for wheel-based sports, but The Lodge, which is run by volunteers, also provide young people with the chance to learn safety advice, develop skills and pursue personal development: whether it be by one-to-one tutoring or helping out fellow, less-experienced riders.
And it was some of this social side of the skatepark that had to be scaled back during Covid.
‘Covid threw us, because we had to shut, but we still had to pay the insurance and the rent and so on’ Nikki said.
‘But now there is a big push by us to revamp aspects of The Lodge’ she added.
The kitchen, for example, is next up on the chopping block, as well as the adjacent seating area.
This pending redevelopment, which follows an upgrade and redesign of the ramps from 2019, will allow The Lodge to offer hot food; an offering that will further supplement its income, alongside the price of admission, grant funding and support by sponsors and the local business community.
Elsewhere, Rob Taylor, who is the owner of Pro Cycle Centre within The Lodge Skatepark and husband to Nikki, is on hand to offer help, guidance and his technical know-how on all things skateboard, scooter and bike..
He is also the co-ordinator of the centre’s Youth Scooter coaching sessions.
On Monday, October 16, the team at The Lodge will be giving some of the walls at The Lodge a fresh lick of paint.