Above - an artist's impression how Zetland park will look after its transformation
£928k has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to improve the park’s facilities and landscaping, while sportscotland, who also distribute National Lottery funding, have awarded £50k to develop a pump bicycle track.
The funding will allow new landscaping works to take place which will improve access to the war memorial, along with repair and conservation works to the gates and the neighbouring fountain which dates from when the park was gifted to the community in 1882.
The work (expected to start in Spring 2020 and be completed by Autumn 2021) will also include the construction of a permanent performance space which can be used by local groups as a seating area and classroom as well as a stage for the crowning of the Queen at the Grangemouth Children’s Day and other performances.
Other projects include: the creation of a naturalised pond on the site of the old now derelict paddling pool; an inclusive play area which will provide opportunities for all children no matter their ability or disability to play together; and the redesign and re planting of the park’s rose garden. The pump track is designed to allow cyclists to go around a track using only their own momentum over bumps and rolls.
Leader of Falkirk Council, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn said: “This funding will help transform Zetland park into an even better amenity for residents and visitors alike. It has been a huge effort to get to this stage and partners and the community should be proud of what they have achieved for the town. A fantastic result and something that everyone will benefit from.”
Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: We are delighted to start the New Year with great news for Zetland Park. This funding from The National Lottery will give the park a new lease of life. Not only will its heritage be protected but new and better facilities will encourage more people through the gates be it for fun, fitness, socialising, or learning or just to take a breather and enjoy the nature within this green oasis.”
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “At sportscotland, we are committed to ensuring sporting facilities such as the pump track at Zetland Park become part of the fabric of the local community. We look forward to working with partners to develop this facility and increase cycling opportunities in the area.”
Tom Brown, Chair of the Friends of Zetland Park said: “What fantastic news for our town. This is an important project which would have not been possible without the support of the community and hard work by the Friends of Zetland Park and the team at Falkirk Council. We look forward to its delivery in 2020."
A programme of activities and events which celebrate the heritage of the park will be held to complement the physical regeneration and will also provide opportunities for the local community to get involved in the project.
The awards bring the total funding the park has received to £2m following awards from INEOS, BP, Falkirk Environment Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, War Memorials Trust, and community fundraising led by the Rotary Club of Grangemouth.
You can find out more about the project via the group’s Facebook page.