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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 18:26 GMT
Long-awaited skate park kicks off
Duncan Kirkhope
BBC Scotland news

Dunblane youngsters now have a skateboard park, 10 years after a group of them first came up the idea of creating one.

The skateboard park, set high in a dip in the Laighills area of the Perthshire town, is now open for use by skateboarders and BMX bikers.

"I think the skate park is really beautiful. It's a dream come true. There's a lot of excitement in the town about it," said Jo Bicheno, chairwoman of the Dunblane skate committee.

"There were times I never thought we would ever get this far," said Ms Bicheno, whose son was one of the original skateboarders who came up with the idea.

"I love the concrete curves. As someone said to me it's really very subtle and fits in to this area really well."

Skate park  (picture from Dave Walsh)
The new skate park has taken 10 years to become reality

The original skateboarders behind the park plan have now grown up, but most of them have kept an active interest in the planning and building of the skate park.

"It's down to the kids firstly, but it's also been a real community effort to get this facility," said Bryan Grieve, chairman of the Dunblane Development Trust.

"Jo Bicheno is the real hero. She has put so much effort in over the years, constantly encouraging the youngsters to keep working with discos, band nights etc. to raise their share of the funding.

"148,000 was raised to pay for the park, with more than 8,000 brought in by young people."

Laighills was one of three proposed sites for the skate park in Dunblane.

You just have to look at it and see the kids enjoying themselves to see it has worked out really well
Bryan Grieve
Dunblane Development Trust

One of the others, at the Millrow car park, proved controversial because of its town centre location, attracting objections from local residents.

"There have been a few arguments along the way at public meetings etc., but I think it is in the right place now," Mr Grieve said.

"You just have to look at it and see the kids enjoying themselves to see it has worked out really well.

"Hopefully during the coming summer months it'll be used every night and the kid's really enjoy it."

There will be an official opening on Friday 11 May.


SEE ALSO
Long awaited skate park approved
18 Aug 06 |  Tayside and Central

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