A BOYHOOD dream became reality for Tony Hill on Sunday after his brand new indoor skate park opened in Poole.
Prevail Skatehouse, which is in a former builder’s merchants in the Kinson Pottery Industrial Estate, has been a labour of love for Mr Hill, his brother Steven, and their friend Chris Davis.
The trio, who have not received any outside funding to build the skate park, began with just one ramp in October.
But they are hoping to continue developing the Skatehouse, with a cafe, a shop, and a huge bowl still to come.
“It’s been unbelievably hard work, with no help whatsoever from Poole Council,” said Mr Hill.
“I’m a carpenter by trade, and we had the place designed by a pro and then built it ourselves. I’ve had four days off since October, and we’ve worked for up to 15 hours every day, but it’s great to see it open.”
Mr Hill said he has been dreaming of opening a skate park since he was just 13.
“It’s taken me five years to get the planning sorted,” he said.
“When this place was empty, it was getting vandalised and squatters were here. But we’re here now.”
The venue will be open every day of the week, including school holidays.
Members of staff and volunteers will always be on-hand to make sure everyone using the venue is safe.
15-year-old Max Smith and 16-year-old Nathan Russell, both skateboarders, said the skate park is “unbelievable”.
Max said: “It’s massive – it looks smaller in the Facebook pictures, so it’s great.”
The boys, who have been to a similar venue together in Cornwall, said: “Compared to anything else we’ve got locally, it’s really well done.
“It’s just huge.”
Jess Brunyee, 14, who brought her scooter to the Skatehouse, said: “I’ve been here before when they were building it.
“I’d come here to watch it all progress. I saw it when there were just two ramps, and now it’s huge. It’s amazing.”
Kane Bortre, 14, said he’d looked around as the building was going on, adding: “It’s really good – it looks great here.”
For more information, or to become a member for £50 a year, visit prevailskatehouse.co.uk