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Inspiring the Ickle members to step out into the sunshine – Ickleton Skate Park Regeneration

Ickleton Skate Park Regeneration.

That is exactly what ECL were able to do, working with Master Developer Urban&Civic (U&C) to transform a once-dilapidated skate park into a safe, exciting destination for the youth of Ickleton and beyond. 

Seven ECL members from the Wellcome Genome Campus (Hinxton site) rose to the challenge as part of the campus’ ongoing expansion, keen to illustrate its focus on local needs and aspirations through community engagement programmes. 

The leading genetic research centre was granted planning permission in December 2020 for 150,000 square metres of employment uses, including up to 1,500 residential dwellings, enabling the population to grow exponentially. Thus, the improvement and development of social infrastructure is increasingly vital and Tracey Penwright, our Community Support Co-ordinator, along with Vuile Major, the site’s Project Manager, wasted no time putting the wheels in motion to progress the works.

At 8am on Thursday, 21st September, the ECL group were offered a warm welcome at the Urban&Civic site headquarters, followed by an essential safety briefing. Then, helmets and orange vests equipped, they set off for the Ickleton community hall recreation ground. 

“And so the challenge began, and what a challenge” Major and Penwright remarked, revealing the mere 6 hours they had to complete the entire project: to remove the tired paintwork, replace the ramps, sand the woodwork and decorate with a new, vibrant lick of paint. 

Tracey added, “I hadn’t finished putting on my overalls when the ECL team were on top of the skatepark ramp, plying off the rotten wood. The weather was perfect, and while the guys tackled the woodwork, Kim and I grabbed the paintbrushes.”

Midway through, they feared that they would never complete the task in time. Yet in “true ECL fashion” they tenaciously persisted and, incredibly, had the park beautifully restored by the end of the day. 

Folks from the Ickleton Parish Council came out to personally congratulate the team on their success, particularly on a job they had been desperate to get ‘rolling’ for a long time.

Thus, with immense thanks to the tireless efforts of the ECL team (Michael McCarey, Pat Shelvin, Martin Morean, Ryan Whiffin, Ramadan Nana, Manuel Collerpardo), headed by Vuile Major, Tracey Penwright and Scott Edwards (U&C project manager), local children and young people now have a brilliant space to learn a new skill- or practice an old one- as they hang out with their friends in the great outdoors.

And on a final note, Tracey concluded, “It was lovely to meet the local parishioners who popped by to say hello, thanking us for our help. Our team were incredible on the day, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our Buying and Plant team, who helped us set the day up and special thanks must also be awarded to the generous donators, whose kindness was integral to the success of the project. Donations included plywood from Hevey Building Supplies Ltd., discounted paint from Dulux and gloves and bin bags from the CID Group.”

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