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Survey rolling out skatepark hopes

By SPP Reporter

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MORE than 90 per cent of respondents to a local survey want a skate park in Forres.

Forres skatepark was a popular venue before it was closed down in 2006.
Forres skatepark was a popular venue before it was closed down in 2006.

Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) conducted a questionnaire earlier this year, and several focus groups, to identify what facilities are needed to improve the lives of young people here.

Nearly 90 per cent of a total of 251 respondents feel there is a need to increase facilities, while 66 per cent said they would help develop and volunteer for a skate park project.

Around 41 per cent of the answers came from respondents aged 17-25.

“This gives us a strong indication that there is a need for such a because of the interest in the survey and the comments made by participants,” said FACT chairman, Brian McDonald.

“This project has the aim of providing top quality facilities and activities for all wheeled sports, including bikes, skateboards, scooters and roller skates.

“We would work with a range of partners through the Forres Area Sports Hub to provide a facility that young people could enjoy and benefit.”

FACT are putting together a group of local people who will support the development alongside the work of the Planning for Real, Forres 20/20 Vision project, which will indicate the best place to build the park. Planning for Real is about finding out what facilities the community want in Forres and where, using a 3D map that has been created for the purpose. The public consultation will go ahead in August following a delay through the summer months.

“We will then look to see who owns the land and what permissions may be needed, and from whom,” said Mr McDonald. “We have approached no one yet as it is early stages.

“However, we have secured three days support from Village SOS (Big Lottery programme) to help us identify costs and potential size options.

“This will be used once a site or sites have been identified – funders will then be approached once we have a clear plan of size and amount needed.”

Potential backers include Sport Scotland, Big Lottery, private trusts but the skate park group will also organise fundraising activities.

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