Construction on Arbroath’s new skatepark is finally set to get under way.
After over five years of lobbying and fundraising, Angus activists have announced they’re ready to begin work on the site.
Contractors have confirmed a June 30 start for the 200,000 project which will see an empty lot in Arbroath’s West Links Park transformed into an extreme sports centre, complete with ramps, bowls and jumps.
Angus Council has commissioned Perthshire-based contractor Alex Butter Landscaping to complete the job. From next week, workers will be on-site performing pre-work assessments.
From there, heavy machinery will be brought in for earthworks. Concrete, furniture, new lighting and paths will then be installed in several phases before completion in August.
According to local councillor David Fairweather, the highly ambitious project illustrates the powerful potential of grassroots campaigning.
“These sort of projects have been started before, but got dropped due to lack of interest or resolve,” he explained.
“This whole thing started because two youngsters came to a community council meeting arguing they should have a place to skate without being moved on by police and, before long, a committee was established and support was in the hundreds.
“And, thanks to a few very committed individuals who helped organise those efforts, it’s finally happening.”
There were fears at the start of this year that Arbroath’s 200,000 youth haven would come grinding to a halt.
In January, sportscotland threatened to withdraw its 100,000 funding grant for the skatepark unless the organisers could guarantee its completion by the end of this summer. Yet with a shortfall of almost 30,000, it seemed unlikely that deadline could be met. Luckily, the Angus community responded in full force.
With the help of donations from local businesses, clubs and individuals, organisers were able to scramble together the cash in the nick of time.
The skatepark’s official grand opening has already been scheduled for Saturday October 4 with live bands, food vendors and professional skating displays all in the works to help celebrate.
Cllr Fairweather added: “This park will help keep our kids off the streets, out of trouble and finally give them a place to call their own.”