Projekts MCR Skatepark has grown over two decades to become the largest managed, community-led skatepark in the UK, transforming a disused, crime-ridden patch of land under a flyover into a hub of sport, creativity and community. More than 6,300 people use the facility each year, including residents of eight large council housing estates, people with autism and the LGBTQ+ community.
The roots of Projekts MCR Skatepark go back to 2001 when a group of Christian skaters wanted to support skateboarding in Manchester due to a general lack of provision for skating in the city. Having won support from the council, they managed to secure a redundant space under the Mancunian Way flyover to set up Manchester city centre’s first managed skatepark.
Nearly two decades on, Projekts MCR is the largest managed, community-led skatepark in the UK. It serves the residents of eight large council housing estates that sit within a two-mile radius, all in the top 10 percent of the most deprived parts of the country, with more than 6,300 people using the facility each year and total visits to the park reaching 20,000 per year.
The team runs a range of initiatives aimed at getting young people into skateboarding, using it as a positive focus in their lives. They have delivered a city-wide scheme targeting girls at risk of disengagement from physical activity, which saw female participation at the skatepark rise from only one percent to 27 percent.
Projekts MCR conducts outreach in primary schools and works with hard-to-reach children excluded from mainstream education, offering breakfast and after school clubs. They also run LGBTQ+ sessions and innovative programmes for people with a disability and autism.
The venue has a not-for-profit cafe and shop, as well as offering coaching services and regular competitions. Projekts MCR isn’t just about skateboarding - it is a place that uses physical activity to build skills and confidence, giving young people purpose and bringing families and communities together.
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