SPOT CHECK: Adrenaline Alley - Corby Skatepark | Ride UK BMX

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SPOT CHECK: Adrenaline Alley – Corby Skatepark

Pride of the Midlands

Words, photos and video by Robin Pearson

Adrenaline Alley in Corby is one hell of a skatepark. Now into its second decade open, it continues to grow from strength to strength as the park builds and adapts more facilities to please its ever-growing crowd of users. BMX riders from all over the world have travelled to ride Corby – some, like Maxime Charveron, have even decided to call it home. We thought it had been a while since we gave any kind of shine time to Adrenaline Alley, so I spent a couple of days there reminding myself why it always ranks so high in our reader awards survey.

One of the main things I realised, which I always seem to forget, is just how big a place it is. Apparently some visitors can’t get over it – they’ve seen various footage from what they thought was a number of UK indoor parks, then they show up and realise it’s all the same place. Such is the scale of Corby. While I was there I shot with local residents Alex Coleborn and Maxime Charveron, plus regular visitors Bob Manchester, Damo Wilkinson and Tom Justice. I also caught up with Mandy Young, who told me a bit about the park’s past, present and future happenings.


Alex Coleborn. Photo: Robin Pearson


Give us a very brief history of the park – what has led you up to this point?

“We started as an outdoor park at Rockingham Speedway before being offered building 1, the old chicken processing factory. There were a few feathers left when we moved in! We had about a third of that building at first then as we got funding we managed to secure a bit more space and extended into the whole of that building. After a while we realised the old reception wasn’t built to handle 300 kids queueing up on a Saturday morning, so we put a plan into place to not only design a new reception but also create buildings 2 and 3. Very fortunately we were donated the space, so we had no rent to pay. That meant all the takings went straight back into the charity, the park. That allowed us to open building 2 – the performance centre – and building 3, which was initially for scooters only but is now open to everyone.”

Bob Manchester, X-up footplant, right up there.


Yeah… Tom Justice, 360 invert.

What’s been happening recently?

“We’ve built the outdoor plaza… And in the last couple of months we’ve purchased all the land that we’re using, including all the buildings. That cost £1M. The charity now owns the whole premises which is pretty rare in this industry. I’ve also secured another £525k, which has allowed us to put into place some kind of plan for succession, as I don’t think I’ll still want to do this job when I’m 70! I need to make sure the right people are in place to keep the value in this park, for however many years in the future. It’s an important thing that a lot of businesses don’t think about.

Also, social impact. These facilities shouldn’t always be just about the riding. The social issues of health, wellbeing, fitness, all of that stuff is a major part of these places and it’s not really thought about enough. We need to make sure that all of the social objectives we have as a charity and as a skatepark are blended together so that we can keep securing money, bringing investment into the industry.”

Maxime Charveron, table transfer into the vert wall.


Any big plans for the future?

“From our new funding we’re also able to put skylights into building 1 and have it all painted up white so all those dark beams will reflect more light. It’s 10 years old in there and with everything else we’ve done, it’s been neglected a bit. It will take us a few years but it will be a completely new park. As we speak, they’re ripping stuff out, demolishing walls, getting the skylights ready, then it will be time to develop the park – designing has already started.

Our cafe is a big problem – not just for the riders but also the other customers that visit us – because it’s at the furthest point away, so we’re actually going to relocate that to building 2. Again, that will help sustain the park as it’s going to invite more people in and create a better experience for everybody. There’ll be new skylights in building 3 and new guttering for building 2 soon. We were going to build a roof over the outdoor plaza area but after asking the riders about it, I found out they would rather us adapt building 1 and put more good street plaza obstacles indoors than spend all that money covering the outdoor facility.”

For more info, visit the official website.


Not what you expected from Alex Coleborn? Me too, but I love it.




Priors Haw Road, NN17 5JG


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