A major expansion and renovation of Banchory skate park is taking shape.
After five years of planning and fundraising, Banchory Skate Park Group could be just months away from opening the new and improved facility.
Construction has been ongoing since last month, and the skate park is starting to take shape, with chairman of the group Russ Crichton saying the project is going “really well.”
It is hoped the facility at Bellfield Park will be ready for reopening by the end of July or beginning of August.
A committed group which includes Mr Crichton, trustees Bruce Skinner and David Bruce and Banchory community learning worker Carol Douglas have been working hard to get this far in the development.
Mr Crichton said: “We’ve been very driven, myself and all the trustees in the group have been putting a lot of time and effort into it to get it ready.”
The local youth group have also been at the centre of the planning, designing and fundraising process.
Community lending a hand
Mr Crichton said the local community has been “rallying round to help”, with a number of businesses and sponsors coming forward to lend a hand.
“A lot has changed in the last two years, obviously we’ve had Covid and we’ve also had a massive hike in the cost of materials,” he said.
“What we’ve managed to do is to ringfence the materials and the services we needed to build the skatepark.
“By using people from the local community to support us we’ve managed to maintain the skatepark size and dimensions as it was originally planned. Had we not done that we would have been forced to reduce by 30 to 35%.”
One local man who was a big supporter of the project was Paul McCusker, who died on May 3. As the director of Marnor Ltd, he provided all timber and fixings for the skate park.
His family is closely linked to the project, as his son is in the youth group that will benefit from the expansion. Mr McCusker’s wife Marie and daughter Sarah have asked for all donations to go towards the skatepark build.
The group is still hoping to fundraise more so that they can make the skate park as good as it can possibly be.
You can donate to their fundraiser here.