Designs have been unveiled for a new “wheeled sports” park in Inverness which would be the first in the city for youngsters to use their scooters.
The facility – also for bikes, skateboards and roller skates – would form part of the second phase of Inshes District Park which would also boast an entrance plaza overlooking the city, as well as winding paths, areas of wild flowers and a pond.
The Inshes Community Association is responsible for the creation of the new city park, which will eventually extend up the hill to Milton of Leys with a third and final phase.
Currently, children can not take their scooters to the city’s other skate parks at Bught Park and Kingsmills, as the scooter bases crack the concrete coping near the park’s edges and make it too bumpy and unsafe for other park users.
But Alan Jones, project manager for the wheel park, said they have managed to find a company which specialises in using reinforced material which prevents the concrete from breaking up.
Mr Jones said he is expecting a letter from Highland Council within a week to confirm permission to build the £330,000 complex. This will allow future funding to be sought for the project, which would largely be paid for by developer contributions through local house building.
Mr Jones said: “At a time when Highland Council is considering closing play areas, community groups might want to think that there is another way of doing things.”
Highland Council agreed a savings package at its February budget to cut £212,000 for the maintenance of children’s playpark equipment. It affects areas with “low play value” and those where adequate provision is nearby, meaning communities will need to pay to maintain them or they will close.
A feasibility study was done three months ago with four local primary schools which received more than 300 responses from youngsters asking for a place to ride their scooters.
The new wheel park will be aimed at five to 16 year olds.