Original contractor to upgrade Orkney skatepark 17 years on from its build

HEDDLE Construction Ltd is to carry out £25,000 worth of improvement works to Kirkwall Skatepark in Orkney.

The local firm was the original contractor on the build of the facility, which opened in 2005. It now requires updating, not just in terms of the surfacing, but also to ensure those who use it can continue developing their skillsets.

Resurfacing works will be undertaken on required areas, as well as the addition of three new features in the form of a new jumpbox, a rail, and an extension to one of the embankments which also has a manual pad attached.

Works are to get underway on February 14, lasting for an estimated six weeks. Orkney Islands Council said that, once complete, it is hoped the project ensures that intermediate level users will be able to progress in sports including skateboarding, BMX and scooters.

Jean Roi, of the Orkney Wheeled Sports Club (OWSC) and regular user of the skatepark, said, “Following discussions with the OWSC in 2021 the council’s sport and leisure service was aware of the developments that were required. I did a mock-up of some suggested improvements and after a bit of back and forth with the council we agreed on a design that fitted within the budget and the needs of the OWSC and the wider community.

“We had to do it all within a short timescale, but we are very happy to hear that the works will be going ahead and are once again thankful to the council’s sport and leisure service for working with us on this, and hope for more of this collaboration in the future hopefully. The new features will give users new ways of using the skatepark and allow them to learn new skills, as well as contributing to increased participation in sport and physical activity levels.”

Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s education, leisure and housing committee, councillor Gwenda Shearer, added, “The park has become a popular spot for wheeled sports enthusiasts and only last month featured on the BBC Scotland TV programme, The Adventure Show. This is yet another fantastic example of the community working in tandem with the council to get the very best outcome.”