The charity behind Inverness’s skate park has launched a fundraising drive after the attraction was damaged by fire.
The gates remained closed for a third day yesterday after its shelter was allegedly set alight in the early hours of Saturday morning.
An 18-year-old man has been charged by police in connection with the incident.
The lights to the park’s main Skate Park and pump track were still switched off yesterday as members of the Highland Skate Parks Association (HSPA) come to terms with what they say is as “absolutely devastating” situation.
Chairwoman Natalie Murray, 35, said: “It’s disheartening. I have been involved for about seven years – before everything got built – so to see that, you feel if it’s your own.
In an effort to return the park to its former state, founding members have now launched a £5,000 crowd funding appeal ahead of a meeting tomorrow to discuss their next steps.
Donations accumulated through the campaign will be used by members to repair the damage.
Dozens of individuals have so far pledged their support to the campaign raising more than £500 in less than 24 hours.
Mrs Murray, a mountain bike coach at the park, added: “It is a positive place, a safe place. This is only a small part of it. People come from all over the country to use it.”
A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland can confirm that an 18-year-old man has been charged in connection with the incident and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”
The skate park opened in 2014 and was hailed as one of the best in Scotland at the time. The facility cost £455,000 and replaced an old one at the same site.
It was built largely from concrete and has 10 separate sections spread over 12,900sqft.
A survey of primary school pupils showed “significant demand” for somewhere to practise their skateboarding.
HSPA has become a registered charity and secured money from Big Lottery, Sport Scotland and the Inverness Common Good Fund.