More people needed to get skate park wheels turning

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teenage boy jumping at the skate park over a ramp

A plan to build a skateboard, scooter and BMX park in Forres is gathering speed after a committee was formed to steer the project through to completion.

Forres Area Community Trust (FACT), which has supported the plan to date, is now hoping the project can continue as an independent group that goes on to choose the right location, apply for funding and build the park.

The group, Forres Skate Park Initiative (FSPI), has now gathered seven members on its new committee. The FSPI plans to build a permanent facility in the town, which will be open to bladers, roller booters, skateboarders, scooters and non-motorised bike riders of all ages. The nearest parks are at Hopeman to the east and Nairn to the west. The group have previously used a pop-up ramp at special events where they have gathered widespread support for a proper park. 

Vicky Flood, Community Development Worker at FACT and acting chairperson of the FSPI said: “The skate park project has been developing over several years, but it needs a dedicated group of people to make it happen. FACT has supported the idea and the working group, and it now needs to form a committee to progress the project further. It was a core feature of the Planning for Real process last year where people voted in favour of a skate park and proposed several potential locations.  We have now formed a small committee, which is an important step in the fundraising and constitutional process. However, we need more people to join, so we have a really strong group that want to make the skate park a reality.”

Vicky added: “A desire to see the skate park happen is very important and we are providing governance training through TSI Moray to all committee members, to enable them to be fully supported in this venture “. 

Community Asset Transfer

Dawn Brodie from the Moray Council Community Support Unit is supporting the group through the Community Asset Transfer process, which in this case is for leasing a piece of land as opposed to transferring it fully to the FSPI.  The group has to be constituted as a responsible body such as a charity to enable the process to move forward. 

Young duo spearheading project

Two of the committee members, both now in their twenties, grew up with the old skate park and are helping spearhead the new project.  

Marc Sutherland said: “We really want this to happen, but equally we are aware that it won’t happen on its own, so we need to come together.” 

Michael Robertson, who now owns ESP in Elgin agrees with Marc: “It is very important for both for the town’s residents and visitors that we have this facility.  I know it can happen, we just need to gather a few more people and continue to develop the project.  The park was really important for me growing up and it helped shape the career path I took; I know it can do the same for others”.

The committee want to encourage young people and others to have a say in what develops.  Having the input of those of similar age and interests, the people who will use it, and others that are interested is invaluable, and really important.

The FSPI meets monthly in the Town Hall with the next meeting on Tuesday 26 February in the Masonic Room.

A special meeting hosted by Alan Jones Associates will explore the process of attracting funding and will be held on Tuesday 29 January, also in the Masonic Room at 7pm.

Anyone interested can get in touch with the group by contacting Vicky by email on [email protected], in person at the FACT office or phoning 01309 674388.