Skate park funding secured

Skatepark enthusiasts and campaigners from Colinsburgh (picture by Steven Brown)
Skatepark enthusiasts and campaigners from Colinsburgh (picture by Steven Brown)

Flipping ideas around and spinning some cash has set the wheels very much in motion for a major community recreation project in Colinsburgh.

The East Neuk village has won a piece of the Commonwealth Games legacy pie by securing £20,000 towards the provision of a skate park at the football ground near North Wynd on the Balcarres Estate.

The award will bring the campaigning committee up to the halfway mark or thereabouts for the £50,00 project.

Skate Colinsburgh, as the venture is known, and three other Fife projects are among over 40 in Scotland to share in a £2.4m payout from the Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund, which has a pot totalling £10 million to upgrade or create new sports and physical activity infrastructure.

Campaigners and residents were delighted to hear the bid had been accepted and hoped it would smooth to path to further funding success.

And, if an application to sportscotland for a similar sum is approved, added to the amount already gathered by the dedicated fund-raisers, the finance will be virtually in place.

A committee of around a dozen residents, headed by community council chairman David Blurton, also chairman of Colinsburgh Sport and Social Club, spent around two years putting the bid together, with help from the community council, Fife Council and local representative Councillor Elizabeth Riches, among others.

“It’s something we have wanted for a while,” said Mr Blurton, who paid tribute to the hard-working committee members.

“It’ll be somewhere for the local children to go and play and something especially for the older ones, around the 9-10 or 13-14 age group,” he added. “When you live in the country, there’s not really a massive amount for them to do.”

“The beauty of it is it can get the kids outside, keep them fit and get them off the X-Box – there’s a time for that but getting them outside is worth it – you can’t put a price onthat.”

Committee member Caroline Pearson said: “It’s great news for us,” adding something was needed because there were a lot of older children in the village, and many had expressed a preference for a skatepark.

Although it’s a small community, villagers are confident the park will be very well used, with youngsters from outwith the area visiting as well as local enthusiasts.

It’s understood to be a fairly substantial course, with a few jumps, and space for around 10-12 youngsters.

While there’s still a fair distance to go in finalising design and construction, and checking features like access and seating areas, it’s hoped the skate park will be in use by the summer of 2015.

The next major community venture in the village is likely to be fund-raising for an all-weather sports surface at the park, reflecting the enthusiasm for football and the likely expansion of the village if more houses are built in years to come.