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Community invited to public meeting organised by Forres Skate Park Initiative

By Garry McCartney

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The area required for the facility is around half a football pitch or one per cent of Grant Park.
The area required for the facility is around half a football pitch or one per cent of Grant Park.

CAMPAIGNERS for a local skatepark are inviting the community to help move the project on.

Forres Skate Park Initiative (FSPI) is hosting a public consultation from 4-8pm on Wednesday, June 15 in the upper games hall at Forres House Community Centre, to share concept designs and reveal the winning logo for the scheme as designed by local pupils.

FSPI chairman, Shaun Moat, confirmed there will also be a stakeholders consultation drop-in session a week earlier from 5-7pm at the same venue.

He explained: “The stakeholders’ event is to gain support from users of Grant Park so they can have input into the design. We have invited agencies such as NHS, Police Scotland and Moray Council, the newly elected Moray Councillors and the press. The public event is for anyone to comment on the design and tell us what their thoughts are on Grant Park and also to vote on the new logo that schoolchildren in the area are designing.”

Digital marketing and website solutions company 3rd Pixel will illustrate the winning logo. There will also be a raffle for a skateboard - anyone who completes a project survey will get an entry into the draw for it.

FSPI commissioned a feasibility study by Inverness-based consultant, Alan Jones Associates (AJA), who analysed 702 responses to an online survey proposing either Grant Park, Bogton Road, Roysvale Park or Mannachie Park for the facility. Forty five per cent of respondents were in favour of building the facility on land traditionally occupied by visiting fun fairs at Grant Park.

FSPI are preparing a Community Asset Transfer application while the council’s legal department is investigating Grant Park’s licensing deeds.

“We are still waiting for their response,” said Mr Moat. “The consultation will help further prove we have support for this location.”

FSPI hope to have the skate park built by next year. It was initially forecast that around £350,000 would be required to pay for the project via funding bodies such as sportscotland and Berry Burn Community Fund.

Mr Moat said: “We are appointing a project manager to apply for the funding on our behalf. The cost of concrete and steel has increased by over 30 per cent so the skate park is now likely to cost in the region of £700,000.”

He added: “We want to thank everyone for positive comments we’ve received on social media regarding the idea - if anyone wants to get involved then please email me at info@forresskatepark.org.uk.”

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