More cash for Kirkcaldy’s parks

Clair surveys a piece of broken equipment at Beveridge Park. Pic by David Cruickshanks
Clair surveys a piece of broken equipment at Beveridge Park. Pic by David Cruickshanks

Funding for an ‘Improve and Remove’ scheme to upgrade and keep playparks in the Kirkcaldy area safe for use has been agreed.

Councillors on the Kirkcaldy area committee agreed to provide a £98,000 pot which can be used for one-off cases where damaged or out-of-date equipment can be quickly replaced with equipment which is easier to look after and maintain.

Donald Grant, community manager for Kirkcaldy, told members that, following discussions and workshops with councillors it had been identified that there was a need for a wider strategy for playparks across the Kirkcaldy area.

He explained that this strategy for playparks throughout Fife was currently being worked on, but in the meantime the council recognised that there were some playparks where items were needing replaced as a matter of urgency, and this was what the extra funding was there to do.

“This fund allows us to remove these and replace them with less maintenance-intensive equipment,” he said.

He added that play provision had been highlighted as a budget priority, and a Capital Investment Plan for the next five years included allocating £500k to each of the Fife areas through an Area Play and Sports Facilities Capital Fund to improve the health of youngsters.

Approval for money for projects from this would have to be by councillors through each of the area committees, with certain criteria having to be met in terms of the types of projects which could be considered.

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the committee, said: “A number of play parks in and around Kirkcaldy had equipment removed because there wasn’t enough money available to repair them.

“We agreed at the last area committee that we needed a temporary solution sooner rather than later.

“This is not just a Kirkcaldy problem. This funding will enable us to address some of the more pressing issues, so that equipment can be removed and replaced right away.”

Councillor Lesley Backhouse asked if funding would be available for play equipment which had already been removed, and Mr Grant said that cases could be considered individually.

The work being done by Scott Clelland, Kirkcaldy area parks manager, and Clair Lovett, parks development manager, was welcomed by Councillor Crooks.

“Beveridge Park is an obvious priority for us,” he added.