Craigtoun’s future is secure, says council

Craigtoun Park, St Andrews

Craigtoun Park, St Andrews

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Fife Council has denied rumours that Craigtoun Park is to close from next year and confirmed the park’s future is secure.

It was reported this week that the park was to close to the public, with council staff who work at the park, maintaining the grounds, being re-deployed or made redundant.

But Iain Barbour, team manager parks, streets and open spaces at Fife Council, categorically denied the rumours.

“There has been no discussions at all about work at Craigtoun,” he said, “and it is not on the agenda.

“Obviously, given the budget, we have significant savings to find,” he continued, “and we have not yet looked at any of the detail and Craigtoun has not been looked at all at the moment.”

Mr Barbour went on: “There has been no thought of contracting anything out or of abandoning anything we do at Craigtoun. We do have significant savings to find and Craigtoun will be looked at, but no decisions have been taken. We have financial challenges that we will have to look at.”

But, he added: “As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual.”

St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson added: “The rumour that Craigtoun Park is to close has absolutely no substance to it. Since the Friends of Craigtoun took over the day-to-day running of the Park, it has been a fantastic success story, and it’s an excellent example of a community organisation and the council working in partnership.”

Kyffin Roberts, chairman of the Friends of Craigtoun, had heard nothing of the rumours – he is busy getting the park’s attractions, which the Friends run, ready for summer opening at Easter weekend, and only last week appealed through the Citizen for more volunteers.

In recent years, the park has had something of a revival after a period of decline.

This year, the Friends hope to open the attractions, including the boating pond, crazy golf, putting greens and bouncy castles, for a minimum of 150 days and are looking forward to welcoming more visitors than ever.

They recently announced that funding had been secured to restore the park’s Italian Garden, with £10,000 from the St Andrews Pilgrim Foundation and £6000 from the Friends. Investigation work is also under way to plan securing the park’s landmark Dutch Village.