Watersport playpark costing £3m set to make a big splash in Glasgow

A PLAYPARK with a difference is to be created in one of the city's most ­deprived areas.

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Three more sports hubs are to open in the Pinkston area
Three more sports hubs are to open in the Pinkston area

Later this year, the £3million Pinkston Watersport Centre will open on the Forth and Clyde Canal just north of the city centre.

And today it was revealed three other high energy sports hubs are to open in the same area.

The Loading Bay will be the city's only purpose built indoor skatepark.

The £365,000 project will be set up in the former loading bay of a large industrial warehouse on the canal bank at Borron Street, just yards from Pinkston Paddlesports.

It will cater for skateboarding, BMX biking, scooter and inline skating and will be designed like a street plaza with ramps, rails, ledges, stairs and other features of an urban landscape.

The Loading Bay is the brainchild of a group of individuals who own, operate and build skateparks across Scotland and beyond.

Nearby will be created the Everyday Martial Arts Gym which will deliver a range of classes including muay thai, Brazilian ju ­jitsu wrestling and boxing and a range of fitness and health classes.

As well as providing a ­facility for elite athletes, it will also offer hands-on coaching geared towards getting the local commun­ity active by providing ­intensive fitness sessions.

It will also focus on family fitness sessions, working with local schools and ­liaising with other social enterprises in North Glasgow.

The Canal Wake Park will be run by Loch Lom­ond Wakeboard which has been operating on the loch for the last four years.

It will be a cable park where wakeboarders - ­described as snowboarders or skateboarders on water - will be pulled along at speed by a cable.

This allows them to use obstacles on the canal to perform similar tricks to those which can be done behind a boat.

It is expected the cable park will put Glasgow at the heart of the fast growing sport and attract large numbers of people to the city.

The company wants to introduce 1000 people to the sport in the first year and subsidised riding will be offered to ­certain community groups.

Loch Lomond Wakeboard is keen to employ local ­people and training will ­result in industry-recognised coaching facilities.

Work on Pinkston Watersports Centre is nearing completion and it is due to open to the public later this summer.

It is Scotland's only competition standard, purpose-built paddlesports venue.

It has a clean water ­basin, canoe polo pitches, classrooms for wet activity and changing rooms.

The centre is expected to attract 25,000 visitors a year by 2016.

All four projects have ­already been granted ­planning permission.

Scottish Canals chief ­executive Steve Dunlop said: "All these sports have a strong youth culture attached to them but they are aimed at participation by all parts of the community.

"This marks a major step forward for the Glasgow Canal regeneration project and the transformation of North Glasgow centred on 100 Borron Street business park.

"This is an ambitious plan for an urban sports hub that will foster community involvement and regeneration alongside the development of sporting excellence.

"However, the urban playground will only become a reality with the generous support of private, public and third sector organisations across Scotland."

Liz Cameron is ­chairman of the Canal Partnership which is overseeing the regeneration of the canal corridor and the city council's spokesman for business and the economy.

She said: "There has been a massive transformation taking place along the Forth and Clyde Canal corridor in the north of our city.

"It is turning Glasgow's historic canal into a place where people want to live, work and play.

"Most local authorities would consider themselves fortunate to have just one opportunity to revitalise a major waterway and enjoy the huge benefits such regeneration brings to people living along its banks. Glasgow is doubly fortunate in having two.

"The canal - our other waterfront is the River Clyde - is presenting this city with a great opportunity to revive communities in North Glasgow and bring with it all the opportunities a thriving ­canal system can bring."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Sport

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