Projekts MCR – a skatepark changing lives in Manchester
Projekts MCR is a skatepark based in Manchester city centre. It recently received support from The Hive – the support programme for co-ops delivered by Co‑operatives UK in partnership with The Co‑operative Bank – to help with its ambitious plans to expand, which will make it the largest managed skatepark in the UK.
Projekts MCR was set up back in 2004, transforming disused land under a busy flyover into a vital space for Manchester’s community of skateboarders – who until then, had no where else to go.
The skatepark works with all parts of the community and, as well as being open to the public through the week, there are sessions for under 16s, adults and home-schooled children, as well as women-only nights, beginners classes and more.
Coaches also go out to schools to run lunch-time and after-school clubs across Greater Manchester.
The community of Projekts MCR is core and it's changed the lives of the people working there too, says Coach, Thurston Monk:
“When I came here I felt like it was a big change. It helped my anxiety by coming and speaking to people and making more friends. It gives me confidence that I didn't have before I started doing this.”
For the past few months, Projekts MCR has been working towards an ambitious expansion project to make it even more embedded in the community.
First they needed to launch a crowdfunder, in the form of a community share offer – which they did with support from The Hive. The support also ensured the share offer was awarded the community shares Standard Mark – a ‘rubber stamp’ given to share offers that meet national standards of good practice.
Anyone who invests in the community share offer automatically becomes a member and has a say in the future of the skatepark. John Haines explains:
“The Hive commissioned a consultant to work closely with us to make sure that a share offer was as good as it possibly should be. We want people to be a part of what we're doing.”
Projects MCR successfully raised £134,388 from its 70 member investors in order to expand spectator and cafe spaces and allow the skatepark to build more ramps.