Final designs of the long-awaited upgrade to South Newcastle beach skate park have been unveiled on Tuesday as part of an $11 million precinct redevelopment.
Funded through a NSW government and Newcastle City Council partnership, the entire southern end of the beach’s promenade will be overhauled.
A $5 million grant from the state government will see the creation of a new accessible skate bowl, cafe/kiosk and outdoor gym.
Electric blue lighting will light up the area at night, Indigenous art will be installed and public amenities will be upgraded.
Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the redevelopment will add another piece to the puzzle of council’s vision for Bathers Way – the path connecting Nobbys and Merewether.
"This component of Bathers Way and coastal revitalisation is complex and this funding from the State Government is a vital component to expediting this transformative project for our community," Cr Nelmes said.
"The intermediate-level skate bowl and surrounding exercise facilities will cater to a diverse range of activities, promote healthy lifestyles and more economic activity, while creating a genuine tourist attraction in the construction of what I have tagged the ‘Blue Bowl’.
"The design is absolutely breathtaking. This is going to be one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken on our coastline and is another step in the transformation of our city into one of Australia’s most beautiful and stunning coastlines.”
First designs for the redevelopment were unveiled back in 2016, which featured a prominent blue bowl as the centrepiece of the skate park. The original skate park was built in 1995.
Consultation with local skateboarding community has seen those designs shift to a a more accessible skate bowl better integrated into the overall aesthetic design.
Two-time Australian street skating champion Russell Grundy, who was involved in the design of the park, said South Newcastle will help the progression of the sport in the Hunter.
"The design is awesome," the 35-year-old said.
"It's going to help the progression of our local talent because the bowl is a stepping stone to the one at Empire Park and the skate park is like nothing we have in the region, so it’s going to be awesome not only for skaters but BMXers too.
"The new facility will be able to hold a lot more skaters. Empire Park can hold one on the bowl and three on the street course but this one will be able to have 15 people skating at once."
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC, said the funding for the Newcastle Beach Community Infrastructure Renewal Project is part of the NSW Liberal National government’s Resources for Regions program.
“This funding will greatly improve the accessibility and amenity of the coastal beaches of Newcastle for the local community, making it an even better place to live and work,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Newcastle’s beaches are a major drawcard for the city and I’m pleased the NSW Government can support these improvements”.
It’s expected the full redevelopment will be completed within the next two years.