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£500,000 playpark at Lochore Meadows will be a ‘first for Scotland’

Friends of Lochore Meadows secretary Pauline Grandison, Ian Laing, David McKay and Karen Hunter, treasurer of the Friends group.
Friends of Lochore Meadows secretary Pauline Grandison, Ian Laing, David McKay and Karen Hunter, treasurer of the Friends group.

A new playpark at a Fife beauty spot will be the first of its kind in Scotland say the team behind the project.

The Friends of Lochore Meadows group wants to install state of the art equipment for children with disabilities.

The plans to revamp the tired facilities at the country park in Lochgelly have been given a £250,000 boost from Fife Council.

Campaigners are now working to secure match funding for the £500,000 scheme

Consultation with the public will start with a drop-in session at the Benarty Centre on Saturday from noon until 2pm.

Detailed plans have yet to be drawn up and people are being invited to shape how the playpark is designed.

David McKay, vice-chairman of the Friends of Lochore Meadows group, said: “There will be nothing like it in Scotland.

“We’re looking at being on site about October next year, but we’ve got £250,000 in match funding to achieve.”

Mr McKay and the team plan to install equipment such as a roundabout suitable for wheelchair users and an a see-saw which is accessible for all.

“The whole concept for the park is to make it inclusive for all abilities – people in wheelchairs, teenagers, everybody,” said Mr McKay.

“It will cost in the region of £500,000, possibly more. What we’re aiming to make is a fully inclusive, destination playpark.”

One of the ideas being mooted for teenagers is a DJ booth and a shelter.

Lochore Meadows Country Park, known as “the meedies” by locals, is undergoing a major overhaul.

A new visitor centre named after former local councillor Willie Clarke, who died last week, was opened last April.

There are also plans to upgrade the golf course and provide modern sports pitches in a £250,000 project.

In May next year, Lochore Meadows will be the first place in Fife to host the Beast Race – a gruelling nine mile obstacle course in which runners have to negotiate giant water slides, icy loch water, thick mud and swamp crossings.

Lochore Meadows park manager Ian Laing said: “That will be the biggest event ever held in the park.

“Sporting events held in the park bring in not just people from Scotland, but other parts of the British Isles, and we’re starting to see a trend where people are starting to visit from across Europe.”

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