Amble skaters offer help to Alnwick mountain bikers
Amble skaters shared advice with a group of young people in Alnwick who are trying to set up a mountain bike freeride track in Alnwick. The Alnwick group visited the ACES skatepark and spent time asking questions about the processes the Amble group encountered.
“They wanted to know how long it took us to get the skatepark,” said skater Will Milburn. “And they were interested in how to articulate themselves when applying for funding. I said to be emotive when they talked about why they do their sport.”
Coquet Youth Team’s Angela Manktelow added “We also talked about planning permission and about the importance of partnership working.”
Skatepark campaigner Christian Harvey couldn’t attend the meetup, but sent the following email to the Alnwick group:
From what I can gather your group is wanting to campaign for a mountain bike track and you would like some help/ advice on how to get funding. I will write out a small list of the things we did and may help you to get your freeride park:
- Form a group, give yourselves a name and make sure the members are going to stick it to the end because it looks bad if members of the committee drop out because it looks like the project is losing hope.
- Set up meetings at a chosen location every 1-2 weeks. In these meetings you can discuss thing that will affect the project and it means that you can allocate jobs to people so that the project gets started quickly.
- Talk to your local youth worker and see if they can provide any help or experience on the subject. We were very luck in that we had Angela’s help through the project so if you could get someone to back you up it will greatly help.
- Write out a questionnaire asking questions like, do people want a mountain bike track? How much would they use it? ect….
- Print off enough to cover a wide range of year groups at schools. Ask teachers if you can hand out your questionnaires and get people to fill them out in class.
- As well as getting ALL the year groups from your school to fill in the questionnaires go to first schools and middle schools. (This shows councillors that you have asked a wide range of people, they like that)
- If all goes to plan the majority of people should say yes to the track. This is good because it shows that it’s not just your group that wants one it is the whole community.
- Either try to arrange a meeting or send a letter to your local councillor explaining what you want and what you have already done (surveys, ect…). Do this after the surveys because it should show the councillor that you are willing to put the work in yourselves and do not just rely on him/her to do it.
- You could even go and visit other bike tracks as “research” 😉 so you show that you have a good understanding of what you want in your track.
- If there are any town festivals ask if you can set up a stand and campaign your ideas to members of the public.
- You can also apply to the lottery funding which I am sure Angela will have spoken to you about and explained the stages within that.
The most important thing is to document EVERYTHING you do, take pictures of you handing out questionnaires, you at bike tracks, keep records of the dates you did certain events. This will show councillors and the lottery that you are willing to do the work yourselves and if they do give you the money, it will not be sitting around for the next 10 years in an account, it will be put to good use.
The main thing is to never stop trying!!!
Good Luck I hope it goes as well for you as it did for us