Another concrete park for Edinburgh

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Drylaw skatepark idea gathers momentum

Boarding fans hope to build their own venue similar to Saughton

By Alastair Tibbitt 23 February 2011 06:30 GMT

The site of the proposed skate park in Easter Drylaw Park

The site of the proposed skate park in Easter Drylaw Park

YOUTHS from Drylaw are celebrating having successfully secured
funding to take their dream of a local skatepark to the next level.

The Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership has awarded the youths £3000 to fund
the production of two detailed design options for the skatepark.

Local Youth Worker, Thomas Brown who has been working with the group
explained: "There’s about 20 or 30 young people from the area that go up to the
Skate Park at Saughton.

"Some of them think it’s the best thing that the council has ever done.

"The only thing they don’t like about Saughton is the travel."

"On Sunday, there’s hardly any buses from Drylaw to Saughton, and so a group
of the local young people approached one of the councillors to see if they would
support the idea of setting up a similar skate park in the Drylaw area, and the
obvious site was the Easter Drylaw park."

"My job as a youth worker is to try and make sure that the young people who
had the idea in the first place, get to stay involved in making the decisions,
as opposed to politicians making decisions on their behalf."

City of Edinburgh Council struggled to find a site for the first major
skatepark in the city, after initial proposals to put that skate park in the
Meadows and Inverleith park were rejected due to community opposition.

However similar opposition hasn’t materialised in Drylaw.

The young people behind the project have already been out with local
community councillors from Drylaw Community council to consult with local
residents whose houses back onto the park.

Thomas said: "I was a bit sceptical at the begining thinking that the
community would say no and I said to the group if the community were to say no
at the outset, then there’d be no point as the project would just never get
planning permission."

"But I was shocked, there was only one person who didn’t think the skatepark
idea was a good one."

"When the results came back and it showed that there was massive support for
the project I thought it was great."

The group has hired the same architects firm, Urban Design Futures, who was
also involved in the design of the Saughton Skatepark.

Selby Richardson said after visiting the proposed site in Easter Drylaw:
"Inverleith’s loss was definately Saughton’s gain.

"The skate project at Saughton seems to have proved popular with young people
throughout the city."

"A skateboarding shop even moved from the city centre out to Saughton to be
close to the park"

"The biggest problems I can see with the Easter Drylaw site are noise, and
waterlogging, but if we can put the skate park as far as possible from the
surrounding houses we can at least minimise the noise."

It is estimated that the final cost of the project will be between £100,000
and £200,000 and although none of this has been secured, talks have already
begun with potential funders.

Before fundraising begins in earnest, local residents will be given a further
chance to comment on the proposed designs at a series of open evenings in the
Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre.

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