Skatepark project gains momentum
YOUNGSTERS in Tranent hope to follow the lead of other East Lothian towns by building a skate and BMX park in the town.
A project has been kicked off by the youngsters - aged between 12 and 15 - to install a facility at one of a number of potential sites in Tranent.
Youth facility Recharge is supporting the project, which held a consultation with the community earlier this year.
More than 100 people of all ages responded to the consultation, with about 92 per cent in support of a skating and BMX facility for the town.
Those behind the plan now wants to meet with East Lothian Council, to ascertain if the project is feasible.
Alan Bell, who runs Recharge, told the Courier: "There are quite a few young people into BMXing and skating who are looking to try and get some facility in Tranent.
"At the moment, a lot of them either go down to Port Seton or to Musselburgh, which can be quite dangerous on the roads.
"If they don't do that, they have to go indoors and pay for it themselves, which is pretty expensive.
"They did a big consultation with the community. They got 101 responses, 92 per cent of which were positive.
"Now they're at the stage of approaching the council to discuss it and give a presentation, and they're waiting on word back."
The youngsters have visited other skating facilities in East Lothian and Edinburgh to gather ideas for their own facility.
A few sites have been identified as potential locations, but details of these have not yet been released.
Designs and timescales have also still to be confirmed, but Mr Bell is confident that the project will gather speed as the months go on.
"[The consultation] was really positive, particularly with the amount of people that replied," he added.
"It was a big age range with the majority being adults that responded.
"The young people are doing everything the right way and with their enthusiasm, we've had to hold them back a little!"
Councillor Shamin Akhtar, East Lothian Council spokeswoman for education and children's services, has also added her weight to the project.
She said: "it's great that the initiative is coming from young people in Tranent, and we are really looking forward to getting a lot more information about it.
"I think if we are getting feedback from the young people that they want a skate park, we have to be able to listen to them and give them a voice, and look at different ways we can help them to take it forward."
In 2010, Gullane youngsters celebrated the opening of a skate and BMX park in the village after two years' hard work; while young people in towns including Dunbar and Haddington are also pushing forward proposals for similar facilities.
This article appeared in East Lothian Courier 01 Aug 12
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Sep 29, 21:17