Neilston skatepark is back on track

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Plans for a highly-anticipated skatepark in Neilston could be back on the agenda.

That’s after East Renfrewshire Council admitted it is ready to begin installation work on the Kingston Playing Fields if funding is approved.

Construction work had been set to begin earlier this year after the local authority was given a £90,000 grant by Waste Recycling Environment (WREN).

Residents had expected the new concrete skatepark to be completed by July but the council were unable to get specialist builders on-site before a funding deadline passed.

Council chiefs have now re-applied to WREN to get cash for the project and have pledged £30,000 towards the work.

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “We remain committed to delivering this project for Neilston and as soon as funding is confirmed will be in a position to progress work with creating a skatepark within Kingston Playing Fields.”

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.

Community councillors have been pushing since 2012 to get the new skatepark built in the area.

The idea came about after Alcohol Awareness gave a talk at a community council meeting. The NCC chairman John Scott told last year of how police officers regularly reported youths “loitering about”.

He said the site was chosen because it is regularly turned into “an impromptu skatepark” in the evenings anyway.

And speaking this week, he added: “Funds are being pursued and there is high optimism that they will be released.

“I would hope to see work beginning in the winter or early spring at the latest.”

A survey, completed by children and youths, showed that many were keen to see the plans become reality.

It is understood that a decision on the WREN funding will be made early next month.