M32 Community Space

M32 Underpass

The M32 Underpass is a neglected space underneath the M32 Motorway in Eastville, Bristol.

The space is barren and brutally designed to keep people out. Yet, people from the community use this space, as well as skateboarders.

The M32 Spot DIY Skatepark

A grass-root self-build skatepark has been built by the DIY community who literally used waste collected from the area to become the building blocks of this popular space. It is the only free undercover skatepark in Bristol, and known worldwide in the self-build skatepark communities. Since the skateboarders have become guardians of the space, prostitution and drug pushing have gone down and the the space is less frightening to local residents.

A Map of the Area

Click on the map to enlarge.

The Team

A number of organisations and individuals across Bristol are involved in reclaiming the neglected M32 underpass for the community, and support the M32 Spot DIY skatepark. Together we want to tackle the environmental and social issues creatively, connect a divided community and improve the wellbeing for everyone.

The team includes:

  • LitterARTI, a local non-profit community organisation, who works with local communities to tackle social and environmental issues creatively. They have been working with the community of Eastville over the last year and a half doing creative projects and interventions;
  • People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, who brings experience of improving public spaces and curating street art in public spaces including the Bearpit and Stokes Croft in Bristol;
  • DIY Bristol and the building crew of the M32 Spot;
  • Local residents;
  • University of West of England: Including students from film-making, architecture, entrepreneurship and art departments.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up in June 2017 by LitterARTI to improve the DIY skatepark and the community space. Read more about it here, and see the video here.

Improvements and work done

As there are no facilities under the M32, including water supply or storage, a shipping container gives secure storage to place tools and materials which will allow us to do the work under the corridor over the next few months.

LitterARTI partnered up with People‘s Republic of Stokes Croft who kitted out the container in the PRSC Yard, ready for installation under the space. Half of the container is for the skatepark building team, which will allow them to do repairs to existing ramps and stuff, and start replacing the noisy wooden ramps with concrete ones.

The concrete pillars are being painted by artists. Some impressions below (photos taken from the M32 Spot group):

For more information on the reclaiming of neglected spaces, have a look at the work and activities in the Bearpit, a Community Action Zone in Bristol.

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We run small art and community projects in Stokes Croft and around Bristol, often for free. We collaborate with other art and community groups, who benefit from our facilities and resources. We're entirely self funded, and sometimes that's hard.

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