A Dundee skate park set to close its doors this Sunday is being mourned by skaters as far away as Australia.
The Factory Skatepark opened more than three decades ago before becoming the go-to place for extreme sports enthusiasts.
Originally opening on Blinshall Street in 1998, it moved into its current premises, on Balunie Drive, in the mid noughties.
The Tele reported last week the UK’s first purpose-built indoor extreme arena would be converted into a family entertainment centre.
Long-time skater Mark Graham said today the closure marked the “end of an era” for the city’s love affair with extreme sports.
The West End resident was one of the first to cross the original former jute mill premises on Blinshall Street.
He said: “I think I was in there on the second day it opened at the age of eight.
“Roller blading was such a big thing then in Dundee and when this indoor facility opened it was a great place to go.
“It moved up to Balunie Drive about 2006.
“The new park wasn’t just a skate park – it was a place for the whole community to use.”
The 29-year-old said the announcement of the park’s closure had invoked a number of memories from his youth.
He added: “I’ve made a lot of great friends both locally and throughout the UK thanks to the park. We held an in-line skating competition there over 2015 until 2017 called the Dee Cup.
“The Tele had covered the events of its type at the time.
“There were more than 200 competitors from across the UK.
“It had been one of the biggest events in Scotland.”
Mark fears the closure of the venue could also see local folk losing interest in sports like skateboarding, roller blading and BMX biking. He added: “Outdoor facilities have improved in the city. The problem is the weather can hamper their use.
“The nearest indoor areas will now be Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“Once this is gone locals might lose interest.
“It is the younger ones I feel bad for.”
The park closure has also been felt half-way across the world – 9,000 miles away in Australia. Paul Campbell, originally from Linlathen, has competed internationally in skateparks around the globe, including in the Winterclash games.
Now living in Apollo Bay, he said the park had given him a “lease of life” at the age of 15.
He said: “I was shocked to hear the park is closing.
“It is such a staple in the community and it has done so much for many people.
“I started going along with my friends and we got free passes from one of the local youth centres called The Hub.
“I kept going back and made friends with a couple of the local skaters who were really good.”
Paul later took on a coaching job in the skatepark after attending on a weekly basis.
He credits the skatepark community for giving him the chance to take on new opportunities.
He added: “I was a delinquent before the skatepark. I didn’t pay attention in school and didn’t have any passions in life until the skatepark helped me focus.
“I have degrees in computer arts and game development and set up my own business as a videographer before I left Scotland but it all relates back to the skatepark.”