Inverleith Park

and other possible locations for a

 Skateboard Park,

the latest being:

Saughton Park

1.  History

2.  The Pond

3.  Skateboard Park




Opening of the Park  -  1891

The pond has been a popular for sailing model yachts and boats for many years.  Here is how Councillor James Robertson, Convener of the Edinburgh Parks Committee described the park on the occasion of the official opening in 1891:

"It is intended to lay out the ground in such a manner that all classes of the community would have ample scope for all rational amusement.  Such games as golf, cricket, football and the old-fashioned game of shinty would be permitted on the ground - (Here, here.) - under certain regulations.  I see no reason why the ladies should not have a tennis ground.

Beside that, we propose to have at the south west corner of the ground a pond whereon, in summer model yachts might unfurl their sails, and on which in winter skaters might have the opportunity of indulging in their favourite pastime with safety.

The Parks Committee are also considering making a ride round the margin of the ground for equestrians.  (Here, here.)"

The Scotsman:  may 25, 1891:  p.7



The Inverlieth Park that I knew when I first came to Edinburgh in 1963 can easily be recognised from the description above. 

The ride round the park no longer existed then, but the park had a 'pitch and put' course, cricket, football and rugby pitches and tennis courts, and the pond in the south-west corner of the park was in use for sailing model yachts.

Now, in 2006, the 'pitch and put' course and tennis courts have gone. In recent years, there have been discussions about providing facilities for skateboarding in the park.



The Pond


The pond in the south-west corner of Inverleith Park is in an attractive setting.  It is about a mile to the north-west of Princes Street.

This postcard view looks to the across the pond, towards the centre of Edinburgh.  Arthur's Seat, the skyline of the Old Town of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle are in the background.

Postcard by CZ Co  -  Inverleith Park

Restoration of the Pond  -  2006

Over the past couple of years, the pond has suffered from poisonous algae that have grown, the result of swans' droppings clogged up the pond's drainage system.

However, Edinburgh Council recently announced provisional plans to spend 235,000 to clean and re-surface the pond and solve its drainage problem by creating a 'marsh garden'.

If these plans are approved, it is hoped that the work can be carried out during summer 2006.

Edinburgh Evening News:  January 21, 2006,  p.3



Skateboard Park

June 2006


Following 4 years' of discussions, Inverleith Park has finally been chosen as the site for Edinburgh's skateboard park.

The skatepark is to be  built on the western side of the park, on the site of the former 'pitch and putt' course at a cost of 500,000.

The skatepark will be about half the size of a rugby pitch.  It is proposed that it will be used for:

-  skateboarding

-  in-line skating

-  BMX biking

It was originally intended to build the skatepark at the Meadows, then to build it at the SE corner of the park, but there were objections to both sites and drainage problems with the latter. 

There are expected to be further objections to the latest proposals.

Edinburgh Evening News:  June 15, 2006,  p.19

July 2006


The 'Save Inverleith Park' group has posted 4,000 leaflets to homes in the area, urging residents to write to the council, opposing  the plans to create a skateboard park in Inverleith Park.  The deadline for comments to be sent to the council is August 4, 2006.

The 'Save Inverleith Park' group believe that a skateboard park would "ruin the character of the park".

Edinburgh Evening News:  July 14, 2006,  p.6

November 2006

Proposals Defeated

Proposals to create a skateboard park in Inverleith Park received the backing of the the City of Edinburgh Planning Dept  in November 2006.

The Planning Department recommended that councillors should approve this development. However, the councillors, at their meeting on November 22(?) 2006, defeated the proposals, by one vote.

During the consultation period in 2006, strong views were expressed both in favour of and against the proposals.  There were 2,686 submissions, 1,485 of them supporting the proposals.

Those in favour of the proposals had a co-ordinated campaign based on a web site and e-mails.

Those against the proposals included:

-  The Cockburn Association

-  Friends of Inverleith Park

-  The Inverleith Society

-  Stockbridge and Inverleith Community Co

-  Stockbridge Colonies Residents' Association.

Many of the objectors considered the scale and appearance of the skateboard park  -  a 500,000 concrete development,  69 metres x 37 metres, surrounded by a 1.1m high fence, and floodlit -  to be inappropriate for the green open space in the park, and would create noise, disturbance and parking problems in the area.

Edinburgh Evening News:  November 17,  2006,  p.17

Edinburgh Evening News:  November 23,  2006,  p.9

December 2006

Where Else?

The latest proposals to create a skateboard park in Edinburgh come from businessman Douglas Graham and architect Doug McFadzean.

They would like to convert the former Melrose tea factory, behind the UCI cinema at Newcraighall into an indoor skate park.  The tea factory closed in 2004 and is now on the market.

Graham and McFadzean are currently seeking financial backing for their proposals.  They compare their proposals with a similar indoor skateboard park now operating successfully in Dundee.

Edinburgh Evening News:  December 12,  2006,  p.19

February 2007

The Meadows?

Plans to build a skateboard park in Inverleith Park have been abandoned following rejection of proposals by the Edinburgh City Planning Committee.

Edinburgh Councillors are now to re-examine the Meadows as a possible site for a 750,000 skatepark.

However there is a by-law that currently restricts new developments on The Meadows, Princes Street Gardens and certain other open spaced in Edinburgh.  To amend this by-law would require approval of the Scottish Parliament.  This could result in a delay of five years before a skatepark could be built at the Meadows.

The former Melrose tea factory at Kinnaird Park, that has been empty since 2004 might provide  a temporary indoor skateboard park until a permanent park could be built.

Edinburgh Evening News:  February 2, 2007:   p.6.

Edinburgh Evening News:  February 12, 2007:   p.6.

March 2008

Saughton Park  -  Proposals

It was announced today that the new outdoor skateboard park for Edinburgh is to be built at Saughton Park, at a cost of 750,000.  It has been designed to also be used by BMX riders and inline skaters.

It will be 70m x 30m, sunk below the ground, with ramps, rails, tracks, artificial lighting and a viewing area for the public.  It is due to open in late-summer 2009.

Edinburgh Evening News:  March 28, 2008::  p.11.

October 2008

Saughton Park  -  Objections

Proposals have been submitted to Edinburgh Council for the skateboard park at Saughton Park.  Consultation on the planning application runs until October 31, 2008.

The Evening News reports that, to date, over 500 letters have been sent to the council,  objecting to the proposed skatepark.  Local residents have expressed concern over the size of the skatepark and the number of people who might wish to use it from all over Scotland if competitions are hosted.

Edinburgh Evening News:  March 28, 2008::  p.11.

December 2008

Saughton Park  -   Approved

On December 10, 2008, City Planners approved plans for the skatepark at Saughton Park.  The Council hopes that work will begin on creating the skatepark in Summer 2009, and that the skatepark will be completed by he end of 2009.

City of Edinburgh Council web site

July 2009

Saughton Park  -   Schedule

Thank you to Chris Hill who wrote:

"The latest plan for the skatepark at Saughton are for an August start and a January 2010 finish, but there may be a delay due to (so far) unresolved  issues about site access for contractor's lorries.

It also seems that plans to bring the bandstand back are on the agenda."

Chris Hall, Edinburgh:  July 22, 2009

March 2010

Saughton Park  -   Skateboard Park About to Open

A 2,100 square meter site in Saughton Park is being converted at a cost of 750,000, to include jumps, ramps and bowls for skateboarders, BMX biers and in-line skaters.  The conversion is now almost complete, and the site is due to open within the next few weeks.

Focus, a leading skate hardware and clothing shop, is due to open a branch in nearby Balgreen Road.

Evening News:  March 26, 2010, p.14