Part of Craigtoun Park’s iconic Dutch Village will be restored and ready for visitors when the park opens for the 2017 season next April.
That was the promise from Kyff Roberts, chairman of the Friends of Craigtoun Park, after he heard that Fife Council had pledged more than £38,000 for the project over two years.
“We’re delighted,” he said, “it means that the first part of the restoration – the boat house – can go ahead. We hope that work can start within six weeks, and finished before we open for next year’s Easter holidays.”
Being able to renovate the boathouse means that a working method for future renovations can be established, and a clearer indication of the costs involved developed.
“Once we have that information the Friends can start a major fund raising exercise,” Mr Roberts added.
The Friends run the park’s attractions – including the play areas and cafe – and organise the events that take place during the year at the park, while Fife Council maintains the extensive gardens.
Earlier this year the Dutch Village was listed as one of the best 100 Scottish buildings of the last 100 years by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
The lake-set village was built in 1920 but had fallen into disrepair in recent years, and the Friends group is keen to see it restored since taking over part of the running of the park in 2012.
Already this year the Friends have contributed £6000 to the restoration of the park’s Italian Garden.
Fife Council has defended the use of yew hedging round a children’s play area at Craigtoun after a concerned grandparent described the hedges as “deadly”.
A complaint came from Ian Scott, of Arbroath, who spotted Taxus Baccata hedging around play areas.
But Damien Woods, service manager, said: “Like a great number of native flowers, shrubs and trees the Common Yew can be poisonous if ingested.
“This particular hedge was planted around 10 years ago but we have other yew hedges in the park which have been established for decades.
“It was planted in keeping with the Victorian look and feel of the park.”