Selkirk parents are over the moon with the opening of the town’s new children’s play park, in the Pringle Park.
The recent grand opening, complete with picnic and the town’s Silver Band, drew a large crowd of parents and their youngsters.
More than £330,000 has been raised over the last six years by the community group behind the new play park.
Not only can local children now enjoy vastly improved play facilities, but the natural beauty of the Pringle Park has also been enhanced as part of the project.
One of those behind the project, Kerry Gentleman, posted on the group’s Facebook page after Sunday’s opening: “Amazing day ... thanks to all those who supported us in the last six years and in the future as this wonderful space evolves.”
Sally Bell commented: “A brilliant afternoon had by all at the opening of the park. There are not many folk who would put the time and effort into a project like that, but what a fantastic result. A park that the town can be very proud of. Amazing.”
And Claire Scott posted: “Brilliant park – what a huge plus for the children of Selkirk. Thank you to all of you for your great efforts and hope you are all enjoying a wee celebratory fizz tonight.”
Just ahead of the opening, organisers posted a thank you to all those who have contributed in some way over the past six years: “Can we just say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped over the years to make this park a reality.
“There are far too many of you to name individually, but you know who you are. So if you’ve baked for fundraiser; helped out at coffee mornings; or at our Parent and Child Sales; given us raffle prizes; marshalled at our hill runs; run a marathon; come to a pub quiz; donated your birthday money; held a bake sale for us; come to our consultation events; told us about your favourite parks; run the Selkirk teashop 10K; made a donation of money or given us your time in any other way – thank you all.”
Margaret Sweetnam, vice-chair of the project group, was delighted with the turnout for the opening: “The place was mobbed. Someone told me they reckoned 300 people were at the opening, but I think it was more than that.
“A lot of people were there all day and it’s fantastic that the play park has opened during a spell of good weather, too.
“The response of parents and children has been amazing. I was up there on Monday as a parent-helper with the Primary One pupils from Knowepark and they couldn’t get enough of the play park.
“And it’s not just a great new play park – the park itself is a lovely place just to spend some time.”
The group behind the play park has responsibility for it for the next 10 years and so fundraising will continue to cover ongoing costs such as insurance and maintenance.
The community group held its AGM on Tuesday night to discuss various issues, including one suggestion that has been put forward concerning the formation of a ‘friends of the play park’ type group.
Mrs Sweetnam added:“This is a fantastic community asset, which belongs to the community and is now up to the community to help look after it and ensure that our children continue to get fun and enjoyment out of it for many years to come.”
The project was funded by the Big Lottery, The Robertson Trust, SBC’s Community Grants Scheme and the Landfill Communities Fund.
More than £15,500 was also donated by various local businesses, community groups and individuals.