Boost to skatepark plans

Melrose Skate Park
Melrose Skate Park

A PUBLIC meeting is to be held in Melrose on Wednesday so local residents can find out more about the ongoing efforts of the town’s skatepark group, writes Adam Drummond.

The gathering will take place at 7.30pm in Melrose Rugby Club. Guest speakers include a representative from Skateboard Scotland and skatepark designers from Wheelscape.

The skatepark group recently benefited from a £660.50 grant from YouthChex, part of Scottish Borders Youth Voice, which will be used to visit and test out other skateparks across the country to help with finalising designs for the proposed facility.

A group of 12 young people and four adults from the project recently visited a skatepark in East Kilbride to test the facilities there.

Susan McBain, chairperson of the group, said: “The noise from such a large park – there must have been at least 100 users – was no louder than a restaurant filled with chatting diners. No shouting, no bawling, no screaming – just happy, sweaty, concentration-filled youths.”

Thanks to the YouthChex funding the group also plans fact-finding trips to skateparks at Dumbarton and Newcastle, and maybe a return to the facility in Perth.

Next week’s meeting will provide the public with the opportunity to find out more about the project, air their views and ask any questions they may have. In attendance will be local Scottish Borders councillors, members of the community council, police and representatives of sports development groups.

Mrs McBain said: “We have done a lot of consultation and gathered a lot of information, and have already got the backing and support of SBC leader David Parker, Melrose Community Council and the local police for the project. We are hoping to shortly be looking more closely at the next stage of the project, but at the moment we are continuing the ongoing work of raising awareness and gathering more support.”

She added: “We are still looking at the park at Priors Walk, in the vicinity of the abbey, and we are still in discussions with Historic Scotland about it.”

Anyone with an interest in the project or who would like to find out more is urged to attend the meeting.