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The Rough Park BMX track in Telford was the result of local young people getting involved and encouraging officials and local residents to work with them to create a facility they could use and enjoy. Its design allows safe use by less-experienced riders, but is also demanding enough for more competitive ones.
In early 2014, a group of young people contacted the local councillor and representatives of Friends of Rough Park (FRP) to request a BMX track. Telford & Wrekin Council Parks Service confirmed that there were no existing local BMX tracks serving that community and identified the approximate size of area and ‘buffer distance’ requirements that would be required.
The council’s play strategy had considered siting a BMX facility in the park but although there was public support, it was not considered a high priority given limited resources and high demand for improved and new facilities across the area.
Local young people were engaged and involved throughout the process. A committee of stakeholders was set up to investigate the project’s potential. This comprised councillors, parks officers, community works and representatives of the youth service, the local community centre, Madeley Town Council and the Friends of Rough Park.
Young people initially provided a description of the type of track they wanted and Rough Park was identified as the ideal location. The young people’s brief was used to prepare four initial designs and quotes. These were then presented to local children and young people for comment.
Notice boards with the design options were placed in the local community centre for several weeks. Voting slips for the choices were sent to local schools and were placed near the boards at the community centre. Several meetings were held with young people in the youth centre and some youth outreach work involved hard to reach young people in the discussion as well.
A community open day in Rough Park also put on a display to the general public in the park itself. Feedback from the initial consultation indicated that several tweaks were needed. This led to a new brief being developed and sent to companies so that they could amend their plans and quotes accordingly.
A second consultation got children and young people in youth clubs and local schools to vote on three options. The design with the most votes was chosen as the design to progress.
FRP submitted their application in February 2015 and we awarded a grant of £39,999 in June 2015. The BMX track opened in September 2015.