Mum backs church skater park plans

Morecambe. St Laurence's Church
Morecambe. St Laurence's Church

A LASTING tribute to a teenager who died after an accident on his BMX bike, could be built in a disused church at the heart of Morecambe’s flagship high street.

Talks are under way over plans to convert St Lawrence’s Church, on Victoria Street, into an indoor skateboard park in memory of Greg Richardson.

Greg, 15, died in hospital after an accident at Morecambe’s outdoor skate park, on July 8.

His mum Elaine and sister Gina have backed the project, calling it “an amazing idea”.

Supporters feel an indoor complex would be safer than the current park on Central Drive as it could be staffed, closely monitored and first aid would be immediately available.

The former Beauty Spot shop on the corner of Victoria Street and Northumberland Street could also become a skate equipment shop.

An international skateboard festival at the Winter Gardens, a monument paying tribute to Greg and a hip-hop charity single in his memory are other ideas being mooted.

The team behind the project includes Ryan Cullen from Level, a Liverpool city centre graphic design company with links to Rampworx – the UK’s biggest indoor skate park in Aintree.

Geoff Banks, a Lancaster designer and music manager whose son Mike was a friend of Greg’s, is also backing the project.

“Skating has been everything to Mike for years and he has said it would be great if there were something that the other skaters and BMX bikers could remember Greg by,” said Mr Banks.

Mr Cullen, Mr Banks and other members of the team met with Morecambe town councillors Darren Clifford, Tracy Brown and Terrie Metcalfe to discuss the plans last Wednesday.

The scheme could tie in with plans to spend £100,000 of government money on transforming Victoria Street into a hip and trendy Portas Pilot Town high street.

Local recycling charity Furniture Matters obtained outline planning permission to open an antiques showroom, shop and cafe inside the church in 2007, but plans stalled in 2009 due to the financial climate and concerns over the building’s structure. Work to make the church watertight and remove rotting timberwork was taking place at the time.