A St Andrews park has taken on a new lease of life following a £40,000 facelift and the unveiling of new state-of-the-art playground equipment.
Heavy rain failed to dampen the excitement of the youngsters who turned out with their parents for the official launch of the new equipment at Cockshaugh Park on Tuesday afternoon.
The facility won a £15,000 renovation bursary as part of Robinsons Fruit Shoot’s national mission to protect outdoor play, beating over 1000 nominations and more than 5000 shortlist votes from parents across the United Kingdom.
The local playpark was nominated by local mum Mrs Bren Thompson in the Robinsons Parents for Playgrounds campaign, and she was among those to attend the opening ceremony and was invited to cut the ribbon to mark its launch.
Mrs Thompson (42), a post office clerkess in St Andrews, was accompanied by her six-year-old daughter, Amy, at the ceremony.
She told the Citizen: ”I played at this park as a child. However, over recent years it had become somewhat dilapidated. When I saw the competition I thought I would give it a go and it’s great that Cockshaugh was one of the winners.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Fife Provost Frances Melville, who was joined at the launch by the other three local councillors - Dorothea Morrison, Bill Sangster and Robin Waterston.
She said: ”It is fantastic for St Andrews.
‘‘‘It makes such a difference and I’m sure it will be very popular.”
It was earlier this year that the company challenged parents across the country to nominate and vote for their local playgrounds to help promote and preserve traditional outdoor play and ensure that children stay active, healthy and happy.
Cockshaugh Park was one of 20 shortlisted after a judging panel considered that it had been a past favourite with local people, but was found to be in a desperate need of repair and refurbishment.
It was then that the power was passed back to parents as voting was opened out on Ready for Ten to encourage communities to get behind their local playground and vote for it. Mrs Thompson rallied enough local support to secure success for St Andrews.
Councillor Brian Goodall, chair of Fife Council’s housing and communities committee, said: “We were absolutely delighted that Cockshaugh received enough votes to get the £15,000 bursary.
“Fife Council contributed £25,000 towards the refurbishment work with our parks’ development team producing the design in consultation with Mrs Thompson.
“The renovation has gone really well and now it’s finished we can really see how much it will mean to the community here, so thank you to Brenda for lobbying for us and to everyone that voted.”
Debbie Eddy, brand manager for Robinsons Fruit Shoot, added: ”The campaign was designed to help parents preserve the important tradition of outdoor play for their children.”
The other four playgrounds that received the most votes and also awarded bursaries of up to £15,000 were St Margaret’s Park in Edinburgh and also in Birmingham, Devon and Lincolnshire.