HOPES of building a brand new play facility in Rothesay have taken a step forward thanks to the award of an initial grant from the Big Lottery Fund, writes Angela Haggerty.
Project Play Park’s organisers have received £10,000 from the Big Lottery’s Investing in Communities fund, which will allow them to develop an application for funding of £140,000 to build the new park.
Project co-ordinator Nicola Jones said: “We are required to do certain things like have a survey of the lands completed, get the planning in place and sort through a number of legalities.
“We are working in partnership with the council to get all these documents together so we have fulfilled the Big Lottery’s funding requirements.
“That all has to be done by October. Then we submit our second phase of all those documents to the Big Lottery. When we do that, if it is all correct, we will find out in February if we have got the money.
“If we are successful the money would be released in spring 2013 and we can start building our play park.”
The plans propose the new play park will be located behind Rothesay Leisure Pool, and will also feature outdoor gym facilities.
“The new park and an outdoor gym will, with agreement from the council, be behind the leisure pool,” Nicola continued.
“Then the leisure pool can use the outdoor gym to deliver some classes.
“The council have agreed in principle. We are just working with them now to secure all the lottery requirements.
“The council are very behind this project. Alan MacDonald, Joe McCabe - it was his idea actually to move the park away from the current play park location - and Isobel Strong.
“I have not had any problems at all, they have been highly supportive. They are as keen as we are to see this project succeed.”
Project Play Park is run by a team of volunteers led by Nicola, who originally came up with the idea for the restoration of the current play park at the rear of Bute Shinty Club’s premises in 2010.
After receiving local support and entering talks with Argyll and Bute Council, ideas for a brand new play park were born and the small team of volunteers have transformed a big idea into a real possibility.
“We are where we should be,” Nicola said. “I’m very excited about it. We are moving faster than other play parks that we have researched and we have a professional grant finder on board who has been leading this application.
“Everybody is really excited about Project Play Park and people are asking all the time how things are going. It has a lot of support.
“We want to deliver a state of the art play park for the people of Bute.”