Following a successful application for £50,000 to Renfrewshire Council’s Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund, which was matched funded by LEADER Renfrewshire, Howwood Community Council has overseen the installation of new play equipment, comprising a zip slide, nest swing, roundabout, climbing frame, swing bars, a new football goal and picnic tables.
Gillian Whyte, Howwood Community Council, said: “The new equipment is being well-used for this time of year and we expect it to increase greatly once the remaining new equipment is in place and the weather improves!
“The improvements have been a catalyst for the formation of our new group, ‘Friends of Howwood Park’, which brings together a group of local residents whose aim is to look after the park and ensure it is used to its full potential.
“We hope to take over the currently unused pavilion located in the park under a Community Asset Transfer, with a view to having this re-opened for community use and are working closely with the council to explore this.”
Further improvements are still to be undertaken later this year and include new scooter ramps, an outdoor gym and more play equipment.
Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities Housing and Planning Board, said: “It’s fantastic to see the change in Howwood Park already and it’s been driven by the brilliant volunteers at Howwood Community Council.
“We want to ensure our parks are inviting places for families to visit for generations to come and this new play equipment, combined with our upgrades to the drainage and paths, are transforming this park for the local community.
“If you’re inspired by the work at Howwood, please get in touch with us and we’ll work with you to access the funding and support you need to make a difference to your local area.”
Thanks to additional investment by Renfrewshire Council, a new perimeter path has also been completed, all other existing paths have undergone improvements, new fencing has been installed and the football pitch drainage has been upgraded.
Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to make these improvements to Howwood Park and a huge thank you goes to our parks team who have carried out fantastic work in conjunction with the local community.
“We have been working closely with the community council to identify exactly what the park needed to make it more family-friendly and by improving access for visitors and ensuring they have a safe walkway around the park, we’re already seeing visitor numbers increase.”
The £1.87million Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund aims to regenerate and make physical and environmental improvements to areas across Renfrewshire.
Awards from the fund will assist in bringing in external funding, increase community participation in local areas and encourage the process of transferring assets to local communities.
Each application must show it has consulted the local community to ensure there is a need and desire for the project and that it would improve community life.
£370,000 has been ringfenced from the overall £1.87million fund specifically for investment in Renfrewshire's villages, through the Villages Investment Fund, and applications for this must show that they will strengthen the unique identity, heritage and character of village life.
For more information and to find out how to apply, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/greenspacesfund.
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