A Mad Hatters tea party themed gala, on Saturday 8th of October, will mark the re-launch of Bothwell Road Park in Hamilton, after a local community group was awarded £87,000 for new play equipment.
The Bothwell Road Action Group have been working closely with local Councillor Davie Mclachlan and South Lanarkshire Council in a bid to better improve the out dated play park.
Mr McLachlan said: “There’s various bits of the park that has play equipment, and some of the equipment is obsolete and has been hidden away but because of some planning gain money that had been awarded to us we’ve been working with the council’s land services department and they have come up with this option of using some of the equipment that we had in store.
“We had a pot of money of £87,000 and we’ve used some of the money to help with this project but we’ve still have quite a lot of money left, and we’re going to be using that money for match funding.”
The project was first introduced in June by Mr McLachlan, as a sub group of the Whitehill Neighbourhood management board. In a bid to maximise additional funding it was decided to give the local community more control over the planning and spending with a partnership ageement with South Lanarkshire Council.
As an independent group, the Bothwell Road Community Group can apply for funding from certain organisations that the council cannot, and plan to use the £50,000 that they have left to apply for match funding, and keep increasing the funding in order to spend as much as possible in improving the park,
Read more: Bothwell Road Action Group
In addition to the community group, members of the public, as well as students from two primary schools and a secondary school, have been involved in the planning, making the project completely community lead.
Peter McGhee, Chair of the Bothwell Road Action Group, said: The equipment is now in the process of being installed and the event is going to be the official opening and celebration of the new play equipment, as well and an engagement exercise for the group to see what things people would like in the park.”
Mr McLachlan added:
“when the community have ownership and you involve the young people they’re more likely to enjoy it and look after it, rather than vandalise it”
The reopening celebration will take place on Saturday the 8th of October, at Bothwell Road park. The event is free to all, however there may be a charge for some activities.
Attractions will include:
- A ribbon cutting by local school children
- A bird display by Owl Magic
- The Boogie Bus
- Di Mambro’s Delicatessen
What sort of things would you like to see local councils add to community play parks? Leave your comments below.