Cash boost helps secure Fife country park’s four-star rating

The Dutch village can now be restored to its former glory
The Dutch village can now be restored to its former glory

Craigtoun Park is set to secure its standing as a four-star visitor attraction, thanks to a significant cash boost announced this week.

Councillors have rubber-stamped a contribution of £17,258 from St Andrews Common Good Fund towards the cost of restoring the decaying Dutch village, while £30,000 has been allocated from north east Fife’s capital budget towards the £40,000 needed to upgrade the toilets, deemed currently to be ‘unfit for purpose’.

The contribution from the Common Good Fund means that repairs to the Dutch village can now go ahead at an estimated cost of £160,000.

The bulk of the funding has come from Fife Council’s parks and countryside service, with money also coming from north east local community planning budget and the Friends of Craigtoun, who took over the running of the park from Fife Council in 2012.

However, the local authority still maintains the grounds and helps with funding.

Meanwhile Friends of Craigtoun have also put £10,000 towards the costof the improvements to the toilet block, which VisitScotland says must be done if the park is to retain the four-star rating it received in 2013.

The contribution from the Common Good Fund means that repairs to the Dutch village can now go ahead at an estimated cost of £160,000.

The bulk of the funding has come from Fife Council’s parks and countryside service, with money also coming from north east local community planning budget and the Friends of Craigtoun, who took over the running of the park from Fife Council in 2012.

However, the local authority still maintains the grounds and helps with funding.

“The Dutch Village in Craigtoun Park is an architecturally unique listed building,” said the council’s community investment team manager Sharon Douglas.

“It has suffered years of under-investment and is now in urgent need of repair to allow it to become a valuable asset .

“The restoration will contribute to the park’s overall attractiveness for both the local community and the increasing number of visitors.”

Meanwhile Friends of Craigtoun have also put £10,000 towards the cost of the improvements to the toilet block, which VisitScotland says must be done if the park is to retain the four-star rating it received in 2013.

The committee heard that it is in a poor state of repair and has no baby changing facilities.

There were over 170,000 visitors to the park last year and of the negative comments made on Facebook and Trip Advisor, by far the majority referred to the poor state of the toilets.