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Euro cash boost for Lerwick skatepark

Some members of Shetland Skatepark Association. From left: Alex Nunn-Thomson, James Stewart, Lewis Murray, Mark Walter, Brydon Sales, Matthew Henderson, Michael Williamson, Kevin Stove, Brendan Higgins, James Irvine, Patrick Thomson. Pic. Scott Goudie

SHETLAND’S extreme sport fans are celebrating after landing a £62,000 grant from the European LEADER fund to build a skatepark in Lerwick.

The cash was approved last Thursday by the local action group handling LEADER funds in the isles, and supplements a £100,000 grant promised last June by Shetland Islands Council.

The Shetland Skatepark Association has already secured a disused area next to the coastguard station at The Knab in Lerwick where they will seek planning permission for the development over the next few weeks.

Association chairman James Stewart said the campaign for a skatepark had been running for decades and this was the furthest ahead the project had reached.

A plan to build a skatepark at Clickimin seven years ago was derailed after all the cash had been raised.

Stewart said they would now be “ramping up” their local fundraising efforts to press ahead with the project, hoping to go out to tender early next year.

“This has been rumbling on for many years and the park should have been built in 2005 rather than now when public finances are a bit more stretched, but we are hoping to raise as much as we can externally and through our own fundraising,” he said.

Members are holding a meeting at Islesburgh community centre on Thursday 23 August to discuss the design of the park.

Currently Shetland’s skating, skateboarding and BMX bike enthusiasts have to practice on the streets and car parks in Lerwick, which is considered dangerous because of traffic.

More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/groups/188186681200271/