Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee Skatepark wins national social enterprise award

Image caption The Factory Skatepark in Dundee has been awarded Social Enterprise of the Year 2012

A Dundee skatepark has been recognised for its efforts to improve the facilities and well-being of the local community.

The Factory Skatepark in Balunie Drive has won the Social Enterprise of the Year award for 2012.

A presentation was made to the park's chief executive Derek Marshall at the Scottish Parliament.

The skate centre has been running for 14 years and has attracted over 17,000 users over that time.

The Social Enterprise awards recognise the success and growth of Scotland's Social Enterprises highlighting the creativity, imagination and growing business strength of the sector.

The £1.4m purpose built facility is located at the intersection of three of Dundee's areas of multiple deprivations.

Numerous programmes

Factory Skatepark was commended for it use of extreme sports to engage young people in youth and community programmes.

As well as offering extreme sports, it runs youth and homework clubs, IT classes for the elderly and digital photography classes.

The centre was also praised for its impact on the local economy. The Factory Skatepark offers employment to 16 people and 20 training opportunities per year.

Mr Marshall said: "To be recognised for the work done at the Factory Skatepark is overwhelming and being part of such a strong community project is something I am extremely proud of.

"Being able to provide support to young people and parents in the area as well as create employment opportunities is very gratifying for myself and all the dedicated staff and volunteers.

"The Factory Skatepark now has over 17,200 registered users and has been supported by the Dundee Partnership, lottery funding and a wide variety of other charitable trusts along with invaluable business support from Scottish Enterprise."

Reducing exclusion

He said they now hope to expand on their success to reach an even bigger section of the community.

Mr Marshall added: "Our objective is to support local communities through reducing social exclusion, improving educational attainment and encouraging young people to follow a healthy lifestyle.

"This has lead us to expand by developing 'The Fun Factory' a purpose built soft play facility for 1 - 11 year olds which will open on the 3rd of December.

"The £750,000 project will provide a focal point for local parents with young children, as well as providing up to 20 employment opportunities and 20 training positions a year."

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