Work has started on the creation of a £336,000 play area in Selkirk’s Pringle Park, with completion targeted before the end of the year.
The arrival of workmen on the site this week to remove existing play equipment and start the groundworks, pictured right, has been an exciting development for those behind the project.
Margaret Sweetnam, vice-chair of Selkirk Play Park Project told The Southern: “It is so exciting. We had our first site visit on Tuesday and they had the area all marked out.
“The clerk of works, Anthony Morris from the council, walked us round the site – the scale of it is huge, it is much bigger than we anticipated from seeing the plans.”
Mrs Sweetnam added: “We have appointed the contractors and Rodger of Earlston are delivering the groundworks, so they have gone on to the site this week.
“They will be improving the quality of the ground, because that has been a big problem in that whole area of land, and they are also going to be doing the earthworks for the three different areas of the play park and a quite a bit of landscaping, including the creation of three-metre-high mounds. We are thrilled, and so is everyone else. We have been posting the progress on our Facebook page – Selkirk Play Park Project – and have had lots of positive feedback.”
Eibe are delivering the play equipment on the site, and will move in once the groundworks are complete, which is expected to take around seven weeks.
The funding for the play park has come from various sources, including £250,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, as well as cash from the Landfill Trust and the community grant scheme.
The committee also raised £12,000 locally to help with the project.
Mrs Sweetnam said: “We are hoping it will all be finished before Christmas.
“It is not an ideal time to be out playing, but with the ground improvements it will be a year-round play park.” However, Mrs Sweetnam has made an appeal to dog owners about the site.
She said: “We are really trying to put out a strong message about dog fouling. There are lots of signs around the fences saying ‘Bag it, tie it, bin it’, and that is about consideration for the workers on the site.
“But, it is also because there is going to be a lot more children and young people using the area in the near future, so we are asking dog owners to get into good habits now.”
She added that dog fouling at Pringle Park has been a ‘huge problem’, which has prompted the council and the project committee to work closely to heighten awareness about the issue and encourage people to clean up after their dogs.
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