New skate park well on track as final piece of funding rolls in

Project organiser Ali Hay on site this week.
Project organiser Ali Hay on site this week.

With the countdown to the opening of Kelso’s new £200,000 skate park well and truly on, the volunteers behind the project this week welcomed a further funding boost.

And as the park on schedule to be open in three to four weeks, the £10,000 grant from National Lottery Awards For All could not have come at a better time for the Kelso Skate Park Project team. 
Ali Hay, 29, a member of the group since its formation in 2009, said: “The £10,000 is going to cover a bike rack, furniture for the park, bins, signs, seatings, all the finishing features really.

“It’s come at the perfect time as these are all things not covered in the build cost.

“While the build has to be completed to a deadline, we have a bit more time for these finishing touches and will be trying to get as much of it done locally as possible.”

“We’d also like to apologise for the mess of the paths. There are lots of concrete wagons coming in and out of the park at the moment so until that’s finished we can’t really get the paths cleared, but I want to reassure the public that they will be cleaned as soon as possible and to say that we do appreciate their patience with this.”

The work, being carried out by Falkirk-based Concreate Skateparks, began at the Shedden Park site at the end of August when the old park was removed and drainage and digging works began. The first concrete went in at the start of October with the park quickly taken shape.

“It’s looking absolutely amazing,” Ali added. “It’s going to be by far one of the best skate parks in Scotland. There’s been a lot of hype about it with folk all over the country talking about it. I think it will be good for the town, we’ve already had people from as far as Inverness and Manchester saying they’re keen to come and try the bowl.”

The previous park was built in 2001 and the group took over the lease in May 2016, and has since secured more than £200,000 to cover insurance, new designs, planning permission and finally the actual build and park furniture.

A date for a mini opening will be announced soon with plans for a larger celebratory opening in the pipe line for next Spring.

A National Lottery Awards for All spokesperson said: “This funding will help a range of arts, sports and community groups from across Scotland to bring their projects ideas to life. If you, and your local community group, would like to join them in celebrating a National Lottery award, you can find out how to apply by visiting www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/scotland.”