Biggest ever payout boosts park project

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RESIDENTS campaigning to improve recreational facilities in Anstruther have bagged their biggest-ever charity payout.

Members of Bankie Park Development Group (BPDG) were delighted last week to hear they had secured £10,000 from Lottery Awards For All.

The cash will go towards a phased project to upgrade Bankie’s facilities and improve the green space around Anstruther.

A multi-use games area – or MUGA – is high on the list of priorities, while the group’s ambitions also include a biodiversity project with sensory garden.

Group chair Susanne McElhinney said local youngsters had asked for football goals with nets, so the MUGA might grant them that wish, while it would also provide something new for youngsters of various ages.

Members hoped the sensory garden would offer something for the whole community, as well as children – an enjoyable area to sit within “a nicer space”.

Meanwhile, a section of the park is set to be redeveloped with new play equipment, a ball court, new pathways and planting, after a recent Fife Council decision.

The north east area committee approved an application by the authority’s own parks services section for improvements at the Crail Road venue.

Councillors agreed the development would respect the character and appearance of the surrounding area, while it would not compromise road safety. The new pathways would be a minimum of three metres wide, to allow safe pedestrian and cycle movement.

Existing park use and the nearby tennis courts and bowling green meant the new play equipment was unlikely to create any significant increase in noise levels, added a report.

BPDG was formed around two years ago and now has 11 members, who stage regular fund-raising activities.

Future plans were strongly dependent on financing, but Susanne said the group was delighted with the council ruling and the Lottery money.

Both represented a huge step forward for the venture, while there was a lot of local backing for BPDG’s activities.

“We have great local support and local businesses are always extremely gnerous when it comes to helping us with fund-raising,” she added.