Sport & Leisure

‘We want skateboarding and BMX to be accessible to all ages and backgrounds’

By Ian Marland at

A party has been held to mark the opening of Glasgow’s newest urban sports venue.

The Loading Bay is a state-of-the-art skatepark in Port Dundas, North Glasgow.

The renovated whisky bond covers 30,000 square feet and brings cutting-edge sports facilities to locals, enthusiasts and national elite athletes.

Skate park

Pictured: (L/R) Cameron Doris (4), Phil Wilson, Bob Doris MSP, Catherine Topley, Cllr Robert Mooney, and Jamie Blair, owner of Clan Skates). Photo: Peter Devlin.

The complex has been developed with help from Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council.

Catherine Topley, chief executive at Scottish Canals said: “We recognise the unique opportunity that investment in our canal-based estates brings to the urban playground of Port Dundas.

“We’re confident that the launch of this amazing skatepark will establish an active community of skaters and (BMX) riders in this emerging destination, which is already home to many grass-roots and national cultural organisations.

“The space itself has so much potential and the atmosphere at the event today is electric’.”

She added: “For Scottish Canals, the park forms part of the ongoing evolution of North Glasgow, and it’s great to see such a buzz about the area.”

‘Amazing opportunity’

As a way of increasing participation in action sports, a free-entry program is offered to economically disadvantaged local young people.

At the launch party, The Loading Bay team held a series of free demo sessions and challenged local riders to a range of stunt-based competitions.

Phil Wilson, centre manager at The Loading Bay, said: “This event is an amazing opportunity to showcase action sports to a new audience.

“At the Loading Bay we want skateboarding, BMX and all other action sports disciplines to be accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

“We are fortunate to be part of a scene that welcomes new people and nurtures progression at any level, the main goal being to have fun.

SKATEPARK

The renovated whisky bond covers 30,000 square feet. Pic Peter Devlin

“The free taster sessions serve to showcase our amazing facilities and services which include our healthy-eating cafe and both private/group lessons.”

Culture magazine The Skinny ramped up the party with live music enjoyed by 400 party-goers.

The launch of the park forms part of wider efforts to establish North Glasgow an emerging destination for culture, urban sports, tourism and community development.

The canal-side area has been the focus of much innovative regeneration work including the Dundashill housing project, the Claypits nature reserve, investment in an integrated water management system and the refurbishment of Old Basin House.

Works on the £750,000 project comprised the installation of a new roof, builders work, mechanical and electrical services to prepare for the amazing skate bowl, foam pits, street plaza and café facilities constructed by Vision Ramps.