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Scottish skatepark awarded listed status

Livingston Skatepark opened in 1981

A Scottish skatepark that once hosted famed skating legend, Tony Hawk, has been designated as a listed structure at category B by Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Livingston Skatepark, which opened in 1981 and was later extended, achieved international renown within the skate scene from its earliest days due to its scale, ambition and quality.

Known for its very deep Double Bowl and finely-tuned transitions, the skatepark is an enduring icon of the Scottish skate and bike scene. In the 1970s skateboarder, Kenny Omond approached Livingston Development Corporation with the idea for a skatepark and ‘Livi’ Skatepark (as it is commonly known) is the earliest surviving purpose-built concrete skatepark in Scotland.

Architect Iain Urquhart designed the skatepark after extensive study of US skateparks and conversations with skateboarders. As a result, the skatepark is an authentic reflection of the skate culture of the 1970-1980s. Omond designed an extension to the skatepark in 1992 – at this time very few skateparks were being built. 

Dara Parsons, head of designations at Historic Environment Scotland, said: "We are delighted to confirm 'Livi' Skatepark as a listed building after West Lothian Council asked us to consider designation. Iain Urquhart’s original design is grounded in early skate culture, and the park is known around the world for its pioneering design, the quality of the skating experience, and as a prototype for later concrete skateparks.

"We are very grateful for everybody who contributed to our public engagement, which helped us understand the history, design, quality and experiences for those who use the skatepark. Tony Hawk, who skated there back in 1991, described it as ‘a legendary place’, and it is clear that this remains a highly valued creative and social space for the community of Livingston and the skating and biking community.

"Through designation, we hope to recognise and protect the best examples of our cultural heritage. Listing Scotland’s oldest skatepark helps demonstrate the variety of our historic environment and especially the important role the built environment of the late 20th century structure has in telling Scotland’s story.”

The listing of the structure ensures its significance will inform decisions about its future.