Skatepark plans on the move in Ellon

The group have been looking at other skatepark designs
The group have been looking at other skatepark designs

Moves are under way to establish a skatepark in Ellon.

A group of young people are driving forward a project for the facility in the town.

They have discussed the proposals with council officers and local councillors, and are arranging a meeting with architects to look at possible designs.

Officials and councillors were impressed by the group’s enthusiasm and approach at a recent meeting and have offered support and advice in advancing the plans.

Kain McLeod, a member of Aberdeenshire Youth Council who is spearheading the skatepark project, told the Times they were looking for as much support as possible from the Ellon and surrounding community.

Kain said: “We have contacted a few local businesses which have agreed to support us and our project. There are a few possible sites in mind but none has been decided.”

Kain, an Ellon Academy pupil, added that they would also be organising fund-raising events and seeking sponsorship, as well as applying for grants through the Prince’s Trust and 
National Lottery Fund.

He said: “There will also be a public meeting to show the design we have confirmed and the public can get their points and views across.

”We think a skatepark would be a great project for Ellon.”

Aberdeenshire Council will help with support and advice.

Formartine Area Manager Elaine Brown said: “We were impressed with the group’s organisation, enthusiasm and their professional approach and they have already made connections with local businesses and other groups that can offer support.

“Any wheeled-sports facility would tie in well with the new cycle paths and Ellon becoming an Integrated Travel Town, as part of promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

“We hope the local community can support these young people and their motivation to improve the facilities and activities on offer as they move forward and plan fundraising activities.”

Ellon’s councillors praised the young people’s commitment.

Councillor Rob Merson said: “The councillors and officers were pleased to give advice on certain issues, and to offer support in identifying potential sources of funding and information.

“The officers will also look into potential sites for such a project, and give them further assistance with forming a properly-constituted group, which is essential when applying for grant funding.

“While proposals for such projects have come forward in the past, interest has tended to fade away because it does take time and effort to realise such a project.

“In this instance, we have a very well-organised plan from a group of committed youngsters, and I think that it has an excellent prospect of success.”

Councillor Isobel Davidson said: “It was great to see how enthusiastic and organised the young folk were and the plans they have for taking this forward.

“I am very happy to support this initiative but the young folk have made it clear that they want to be the organisers and kick start the project by finding local support and fund-raising.”

Councillor Richard Thomson said: “Even though the group’s plans are at an early stage, they’ve obviously done their research thoroughly and have a very clear idea of what sort of facility they’d like to see in Ellon.

“Although there’s some way to go, not least in terms of fund-raising, I wish them well and hope that Aberdeenshire Council can give them all the support and advice which will be needed to bring these plans to completion.”

Ellon Community Council has supported a number of previous attempts to build a skatepark in the town.

Chairman Sandy McDougall said: “We support the concept of providing such a facility but the decision on its location will be very important and we would expect any group intending to take such development forward would consult widely with the community of Ellon.”