Blackburn and Darwen Hive Ambassadors Network

News

Meet the member

For our regular features on Hive members, this month meet one of our newest member Anthony Ramsey director of Junction4 Skatepark.

Tell us about your business

Junction 4 Skatepark is a not for profit, community based indoor facility for the pursuit of non-traditional sports, like BMX, Inline Skating and skateboarding.  Based on Blackburn Road in Darwen, we are a really unique sporting venue and we even play host to national competitions, which help to raise the profile of Blackburn and Darwen on a national level.  As well as the sports facility itself, which offers a range of different runs, we also have a coffee bar and retail outlet.

What are your highlights of the last 12 months?

Well, we undertook a large renovation project to change a plain lounge area into a modern, comfortable, flexible space, which has given us the ability to host everything from community events to being a meeting and training venue.

Added to that we’ve held some incredible events in the last year from Christmas markets, community engagement projects to playing host to world famous YouTubers.

We also got a Minibus this year so we now take groups of children to other skateparks up and down the country.

Plans for the future?

With the acceptance of BMX (Freestyle) and Skateboarding into the 2020 Olympics the future is bright for our facility and industry.  We are on an amazing site with large grounds so have an excellent opportunity to expand.

Our next plan is to develop an adjoining unused room into a kitchen / serving area to enable us to serve higher quality, healthier food. This also opens up options to implement a fit and fed programme to give free food to children from under privileged backgrounds during school holidays.

We are also developing exciting plans for a “J4 Urban Sports Village” which will include a Street Skatepark, designed to challenge pro- riders but have a progression system to allow beginners to ride and improve their levels of confidence and skills.  We also plan to create a dirt jump and pump track area and a BMX contest area, with the ambition for us to become a venue for UK Olympic qualifying events.  Finally, we want to build a Container village, using shipping containers to create an urban feel, event and cafe space.

What business person do you most admire and why?

I admire business people that give back.  Business is not just about making money and growth; it needs to be about supporting communities and helping them grow.  We have found a lot of parents are willing to give up their time to come and support the projects that we have run and give back to the community. Now we want businesses to do the same.

Amanda Meakin from Community and Business Partners is doing amazing things supporting businesses locally, while also running the community-based Energy Zone / Sams / Waste not want not.

Don’t Tell Ian Brown, but I admire what he is doing in pulling businesses together. Since Ian’s involvement with ourselves we have started on community projects with Blackburn College and WEC Group and more to come. Cheers Ian!

Tell us something people may not know about you

Ha, ha, my claim to fame is that I have been on Songs of Praise three times!

Tell us why you joined Hive

We joined Hive to promote ourselves to local businesses and get them involved in what we are trying to achieve for Blackburn / Darwen and its residents. We have big plans and need as many people as possible to help and support what we are doing.  Hive should help us build closer links with the business community, bring in companies to use our conferencing and meeting facilities, taking part in corporate activities or just by coming and watching and seeing the local talent that is beingproduced.