We love hearing about new park openings, so when I heard that Carlisle was getting a ‘new’ indoor park I had to reach out and find out a little more. It looks like the new park is going to be a good one and it sounds like Steve & Tab have been doing their share of supporting the scene in Carlisle so if you’re ever in the area be sure to stop by.
Hi guys, lets start with the basics… Who/What is Project one skatepark? Who’s behind it, where are you based?
Project One is a community focused indoor skatepark located in Carlisle, Cumbria and ran by Steve & Tab Wilson. It’s DIY to its core, working on a crazy tight budget, and just about pays for itself – no one is on a wage or lining pockets! P1 only exists because of the generosity of the people in our community.
That’s amazing! Can you tell me a little more about the two of you? How did you end up running the local skatepark?
When we moved to Carlisle 10 years ago my first question was “where is the indoor park at?!”
I (Steve) have done a few youth work jobs with skatepark stuff in the past, and I’m a joiner too, so seemed a good idea to try and get something sorted for the city.
Tab is the business brains of it all, and keeps it all legit, without her it would’ve gone bust years ago!
Thanks to social media ( instagram.com/p1skatepark ) I can see you’ve been a park for a while now, whats the story with the new location?
We (Steve & Tab) first got involved by teaming up with a local group called “Skaters Of Carlisle” to try and sort an indoor park for our city. We sourced a tiny space & got a bunch of ramps from a recently wrapped up skate project in Clitheroe, and then got to work making it happen with a small budget.
Sadly the group effort from “SoC” all fell to pieces, so we took on the park ourselves & sorted the business side of it to ensure it wouldn’t all go to waste. The first P1 was super small, with only a mini ramp at one side, and then a vert wall to a bank & steep quarter at the other side. But, despite its size we had some real fun times in there.
We always said that if we could raise enough money we would expand / move, and COVID just kinda forced us into it!
After months of lockdowns we got our hands on a set of keys for a space just down the road from the last place. This time with 5x the space, a nice high roof and parking. Only downside being that the building is pretty run down – we got in there and instantly had to deal with decades of industrial grime, dead pigeons & a collection of rusty jaguars!
It’s taken an age to sort it, but now we have a clean space for escaping the typical Cumbrian drizzle, that has lights, power, a toilet & heated water, which feels like a million miles from when we first got in there.
The new P1 has the same old miniramp as before, and the old steep quarter too. But we also have a bowl section at the end of the park with a bunch of hip options either side, and banks up to a sub box up top.
We’ve also got a load of ledges, a flat rail, a small little box jump, a booter of a big jump box, a street spine and a big ol’ vert wall.
Can’t wait to see people open up all the lines around the place.
‘Project one’? Does that mean this is the first of many projects?
One of the guys in the ‘Skaters of Carlisle’ group wanted to call it Project One fairly early on, and it just kinda stuck.
It probably should’ve evolved into “Project Two” with us moving to a bigger place, but we’ve already got merch now, so oh well!
Haha, and is the park open to everyone?
Yep. All welcome.
Skate, Ride, Blades, Scoot – it’s all good.
What do you think your role as an indoor skateparks is (for the BMX and the wider community)?
The skate scene in Carlisle is pretty healthy, there’s a good crew and a steady stream of younger guys ditching scooters to try a board, which is great to see.
I’ve always been more about BMX than skating, but there’s only a handful of dedicated riders in Carlisle. My personal agenda for P1 has always been to try and revive the local BMX scene and give people the opportunity to get into it & discover BMX for themselves.
The new P1 deliberately has features that our local old crusty outdoor skateparks don’t have, and so hopefully the place will provide opportunity for progression & new learns for everyone. I don’t think we’ll be hosting Backyard Jam or anything anytime soon, but I’d love to see our locals get to a level where they’re entering national jams & comps.
We aim to be putting on some jams throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those, hopefully get a few sponsors for prizes too.
Sounds like you know exactly where you want this park to go, can’t wait to see how it all unfolds in the future! When do you think the new place will be complete?
We’re going to be opening up for some of the Halfterm week days, then have a Launch Party on Sunday 26th February to celebrate the place finally being open. A load of local skate / ride brands will be represented with their own merch and we’ll have some live music to finish the evening off. Can’t wait!
Where do you see the park in 5 years time?
Hopefully we’re still here! Who knows. If it all goes wrong and we go bust then I guess it’s on to something else… Carlisle could really do with a legit trails spot, and I’ve been eyeing up a couple places! Haha.
Any last words?
Just a shout out to the UK BMX scene, and those local-ish to us – can’t wait to share some laps with everyone & see you all rip round our little park.
Thanks for the opportunity to blabber on about our little skatepark, it’s much appreciated, I’ve been a fan of the mag since I was a kid… Steve & Tab
Find out more about Project one Skatepark on Facebook or on Instagram or at their new location
Project One Skatepark
Unit10a Denton Iron Works