An Alyth community project has secured enough funding to start work on a major upgrade of the town’s main public open space, opening it up to wheelchair users and buggies.
The Jubilee Park Working Group has spent the past year developing plans for a new all-weather path around Alyth’s Diamond Jubilee Park, and now has enough finance and in-kind support in place to enable building work to start early in the New Year.
The Group is planning a path designed for multi-purpose use by walkers, runners, wheelchair-users, cyclists and people with buggies and prams. At present, there are no paths in the Park, making it difficult for many people to enjoy the open space.
The project will cost just under £60,000, funded by a major grant of £33,600 from SSEN Transmission, £9,500 from the Drumderg Windfarm Community Fund, £5,750 from Glenisla Developments, and just under £10,000 from Alyth Development Trust.
The Working Group is commissioning a local construction firm to build the one-kilometre asphalt path around Jubilee Park, and work is expected to take around three weeks.
The start of work will mark the culmination of a year of consultation, discussion and planning for the Group. Almost 200 people responded to a consultation during the Spring and Summer this year, which produced a resounding ‘Yes’ for a new path and possibly other improvements in the future.
There were responses from all age groups, from under-10s to over-65s. Eight out of 10 people said they visit the Park at least one or more times per month, most of them one or more times per week. Most people listed walking, particularly dog-walking, as their main activity, and many also said they met friends, took part in organised activities, sports and games, or took their children and grandchildren for fresh air and exercise.
Well over three-quarters of the respondents strongly welcomed the idea of a new path, saying it would encourage them to visit more often in wet weather, or to take buggies and wheelchairs there, and that they would likely visit more often. Lots of people called for more play facilities for children, more seating, toilets and dog-waste bins among other things.
Armed with the positive consultation response, the Working Group were able to secure approval for the plan from Perth & Kinross Council, who manage the Park on behalf of the community.
Local businessman Steven Boath, chair of the Working Group, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have been able to secure this funding for a community project that will mean so much to so many on Alyth.
“As well as creating a safe and user-friendly path around Jubilee Park for wheelchair users and those with buggies or prams, we will also be creating a connecting hub for footpaths leading out through the rest of the town. In particular, this will be an important part of the links between the the centre of Alyth and the new developments at Pitcrocknie Village.
“The consultation also produced lots of interesting ideas for other potential developments in and around the Park, which are now being fed into the Community Action Plan being developed for Alyth by a consortium of local groups. We hope that the building of the path will herald an exciting new chapter of community action in Alyth.”
• The Diamond Jubilee Park, containing a recreation ground and children’s play park, was gifted to the people of Alyth by the then Earl of Airlie to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It includes a football pitch which is home to Alyth Amateur Football Club. The park is managed by Perth & Kinross Council.
• SSEN Transmission are currently building the new electricity sub-station southeast of Alyth.
• The Drumderg Windfarm, northwest of Alyth, is operated by SSEN Renewables.
• Glenisla Developments are currently building the Pitcrocknie residential and care home development on the eastern edge of Alyth.