Funding rolls in for new Kelso skatepark

Ali Hay celebrates the Kelso Skatepark Project securing its final �107,000 funding grant.
Ali Hay celebrates the Kelso Skatepark Project securing its final �107,000 funding grant.

Kelso Skatepark Group’s vision for a new state-of-the-art facility will soon become a reality now it has filled the final £107,000 gap in its funding plans.

The award from European Union Leader community grant scheme means the group has now raised the £200,000 needed for a major overhaul of its Shedden Park site.

How the new skatepark will look.

How the new skatepark will look.

Group chairman Ali Hay said: “This is the final part of the puzzle. The whole team has been blown away, and it’s been like the domino effect we had hoped for, with the funding all just slotting into place.

“We have completed our funding target way ahead of schedule, and we’re really looking forward to moving forward with it now.”

“We’re delighted that work can now start in the last week in June. We are ready to roll.”

The project began in May 2016 with a crowdfunding campaign securing more than £5,000 for a feasibility study, planning permission, designs, insurance and a full lease of the site.

The group secured its first major grant of £42,000 from Viridor Credits in January, a further £50,000 from Wren through the Scottish Landfill Community Fund in April and more recently £3,000 from Club Sport Roxburgh.

“Applying for all this funding hasn’t been easy, but this is the first of its kind in the Borders, so it was a big but fairly easy case for us to prove,” Mr Hay, 28, added. “It will have a minimum life expectancy of 30 to 50 years, so this will be used for generations.”

The building work is expected to take around three months to complete, and the existing equipment, due to be removed shortly, will hopefully be donated to another town.

The existing skate park was built in 2001, and the group, made up of five core members and a dozen further volunteers, was formed in 2009 to support its growth and expasion.

The new park, being built within the footprint of the existing one, will offer more diversity and spaces to suit all different abilities.

It will also include planted areas, creative features and a cobbled wall.

The group is organising a final skate day for the existing park before it is conrdoned off later this month.

For more details, visit the Kelso Skatepark Project facebook page here.