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Dream of Ellon skate park moves step closer with asset transfer bid

Plans for the new park and the current space at Gordon Park, Ellon..
Plans for the new park and the current space at Gordon Park, Ellon..

Hopes of an all-in-one park for skateboarders, mountain bikers, cyclists and BMX fans in Ellon could become reality.

The Ellon Wheel Park committee has been formed to build a 650-yard-long facility in the town.

Now the group have put together a community asset transfer bid to take over part of the town’s Lower Gordon Park.

They want to build the wheeled sports arena and hope to open it by 2023.

Last year, they were given the green light to make an application for full funding for the project.

According to documents lodged as part of the community asset transfer, the whole project would cost almost £800,000.

Cash would potentially be provided by the SportScotland Cycle Facilities Fund, Vattenfall Windfarm community, the council’s investment fund and the park committee’s own fundraising.

Colin Allanach, chairman of the Ellon Wheels Park group.

Aim to build ‘first-class’ facility

Colin Allanach is chairman of the Ellon Wheel Park group.

Mr Allanach said: “It is a unique thing in the north-east where we will have an area for skateboards, for mountain bikers and for people on road bikes.

“It is a big thing and we are looking to build a facility that is first-class for Ellon.

“The community asset transfer is part of the process that goes along with planning permission and funding approvals.

“We think it will bring people into the town – more people in to use our local businesses.

“Making Ellon unique with this will be something that brings tourists into the area.”

Part of Gordon Park, Ellon could soon be transformed.  Picture by Kenny Elrick.

Document details potential benefits

Ellon Wheel Park committee believe the facility could give the town a major economic boost.

As part of the Ellon Wheel Park bid, the group have sent a raft of documents to the council as part of their case for taking over the land.

Their report said: “We would like it acknowledged by the council that as a voluntary group we are hoping to attract investment into the town of between £500,000 and £1 million and in recognition of this we feel justified in asking for a lease at a peppercorn rent.”

Documents setting out the case for the community asset transfer also said the project would only move forward if the funding was secured.

The potential costs of the track project.

Hopes it will tackle anti-social behaviour

The report also said that young people would benefit from the skatepark. It said it would help them focus on a positive activity.

It said: “Currently the open space in Gordon Park is an informal grassy area. Our project will upgrade this to a wheeled sports hub which will meet the town’s wheeled sports needs for the next generation.

“By acting as the lead in this project the Group hope to secure just over three-quarters of a million pounds.”

They added the project will only proceed if this funding is secured.

“If secured this means the council will not have to consider any funding towards wheeled sports in Ellon for the foreseeable future reducing any call on the council’s capital budget.

“Wheeled sports fall under the category of ‘extreme sports’ in many ways and as such, has a particularly appealing aura about it.

“Getting youngsters hooked on this is a much more invigorating, purposeful and enjoyable experience.”

They continued that this could help discourage them from “other habits such as drinking and drugs, vandalism and crime”.

To find out more about the Ellon Wheel Park committee’s community asset transfer bid and read their documents visit here.

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