Young people and families in and around Howwood are set to benefit as £50,000 is invested in the the area’s Public Park for brand-new play equipment.
Skateboard ramps, a zip slide, football goals and an outdoor gym are on their way after Howwood Community Council’s application to the Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund was accepted.
The £1.87million fund aims to regenerate and make physical and environmental improvements to areas across Renfrewshire identified by the local community and, having consulted local residents, the Community Council found there was a strong desire for improved equipment for young people in Howwood.
Gillian Whyte, Howwood Community Council, said: “When the Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas Fund became available from Renfrewshire Council, it created an opportunity for us to acquire the facilities the park has been lacking.
Photo: Howwood Community Council and their sons at Howwood Park
“We consulted with the community to find out what facilities they wanted to see in Howwood Park and they told us they wanted play equipment for older children, new football goals, an outdoor gym, ramps for scooters and skateboards, and new picnic tables and bins.
“We believe the introduction of these facilities will result in the park being used significantly more by the community and will provide many health, well-being and social benefits for the villagers, along with increased social cohesion.
“The future of Howwood Park is a positive one, thanks to the catalyst that was the ‘Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas Fund’.”
The funding award follows a £50,000 investment by Renfrewshire Council to improve the play area surface, as well as upgrading the drainage and perimeter fencing in the park.
Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “It’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm behind this project and it’s going to make a huge difference to the park when the new equipment is in place.
“We want to ensure that families and young people have a place to visit and play in that’s close to where they live as it forges a real community spirit in the area and this new equipment will mean that they don’t have to go further afield to enjoy time with their loved ones.
“Projects like this are a prime example of how the fund can benefit our communities so if you’ve got an idea then get in touch and we’ll support you to apply.”
Councillor for Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, Emma Rodden, said: “Howwood Community Council, in particular Gillian Whyte, have worked tirelessly to research, consult and find funding for this project.
“I am so pleased their hard work and plans are coming to fruition.
“A huge well done!”
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.