Lochore Meadows playpark upgrade delayed over rising costs

The playpark at Lochore Meadows has been marked for a future upgrade.The playpark at Lochore Meadows has been marked for a future upgrade.
The playpark at Lochore Meadows has been marked for a future upgrade.
A much-anticipated makeover of a popular Fife park has been delayed by several months, Fife Council has confirmed.

The local authority had hoped to have plans for a brand new inclusive destination play park at Lochore Meadows completed over the spring, but the upgrade is now unlikely to be done at all in this calendar year.

Council officers say the tenders received to carry out the work have been higher than expected, and therefore a contract has not yet been awarded.

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Fife Council expressed its “disappointment” over the situation, but reassured visitors of the region’s most popular free attraction that the play park will still get a revamp.

A new target date of early 2023 has been set for completion of the works, which was expected to cost around £800,000.Andy MacLellan, the council’s community projects team manager, explained: “The market for play equipment is quite uncertain just now, which has driven up the costs of the more specialist pieces we wanted at Lochore.

“The construction sector is also feeling pressure, and together with the variability of covid-19 restrictions, bidding contractors have had to build in the financial risks that they have into their tenders.

“This has resulted in the tenders we’ve received being higher than expected and means we can’t go ahead with the work right now.

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“We share the disappointment that people will be feeling at this news, but we’re sure that they’ll understand that we need to make sure we spend wisely and get the best value for money.

“We’re fully committed to the playpark replacement and will take a bit of time to review the project before putting it back out to tender, with a new target of early 2023 for completion.”

Swings designed to be used by children with disabilities and a sensory tunnel will be amongst a range of new equipment coming to the park.

New fencing at key locations near the loch and through the wooded area, as well as CCTV, will also help keep visitors safe and a new pathway will connect the play area to the visitor centre, giving easy access to the café and toilet facilities.

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