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A skate park for Forres?

SHOULD Forres have a new centre where young people can skate, climb and play football?

That’s a question being posed by one of the town’s Moray Council members with detailed plans for just such a facility.

Lorna Cresswell made the statement after reading in the ‘Gazette’ about teenagers performing skateboarding and Parkour (urban sport) stunts branded “dangerous” in supermarket car parks and Forres Academy’s roofs .

She thinks a new centre would help prevent youngsters who enjoy these sports putting themselves at risk.

“Well we have always wanted a youth café since the 1980s,” said Councillor Cresswell. “Young people these days are interested in Parkour and are interested in skateboarding.”

The plans include a skatepark, climbing wall and football pitches. They were drawn up by Greig Munro, who designed the Moray Art Centre.

There was a skatepark beside Forres Academy from 2002-06, which was leased to a skateboarding club. It was closed following claims it was used as a hang-out for non-club skateboards, gang members and youngsters playing truant.

Since then there have been several suggestions regarding the creation of a new facility but none have come to fruition.

Councillor Cresswell thinks the skate park may have been set up at the wrong time. “Maybe we were too early,” she said.

She would now like the community to consider the new plans and get behind them if they think the centre is a good idea.

However, with a lack of developable land in Forres, she also pointed out that there will need to be an agreement about where such a facility would be based.

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