Doubts over the creation of Neilston skate park

Funding issues have cast doubt over a skate park being created in Neilston.
Funding issues have cast doubt over a skate park being created in Neilston.

Plans to build a new skatepark in Neilston have been plunged into doubt after funding for the project was pulled.

Construction work was set to start on the Kingston Playing Fields after East Renfrewshire Council was given a £90,000 grant by Waste Recycling Environment (WREN) in June last year.

Residents had expected the new concrete skate bowl to be completed by next month but the local authority have been unable to get specialist builders on-site before the deadline.

It means the council will now have to re-apply to WREN to get cash for the project, despite pledging £30,000 themselves.

A spokesman for the council said: “It is unfortunate that work on starting this project has been delayed, which will now result in the council having to re-apply for funding.

“We remain committed to developing a new skate park at Kingston Playing Fields and aim to progress this project as soon as possible.”

The project was first mooted by Neilston Community Council (NCC) and kids from the village.

Neilston Development Trust and JM Murdoch were also supportive of the scheme, with the design being drawn up by Concrete Skatepark Construction.

A statement from the NCC said: “The community council were told last week that the main funding for this project had been withdrawn by WREN through the Scottish Communities Action Fund.

“East Renfrewshire Council, who had to apply for the WREN funding, since they own the land, had, we were given to believe, told WREN of the delayed start and this had apparently been agreed.

“There was some confusion over the timing of the start date but the contractor had brought the start period forward and the completion date was likely to be one week early.

“We are told that ERC are working to resolve the situation but we do not know how or when.”

Labour councillor Paul O’Kane confirmed he will meet with managers in a bid to get the project back on track.

He said: “I’m trying to get a handle on how we got to this point but the reality is because of the problems with the contractors these delays have happened.

“I’ll be feeding information back to the community council and it would be my view that we’ll have a clearer picture.”