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Strathpeffer park plan secures massive vote of confidence with £38,000 land fund boost


By Hector MacKenzie


The hard work of volunteers has been rewarded with a major funding breakthrough.
The hard work of volunteers has been rewarded with a major funding breakthrough.

AMBITIOUS plans to transform an overgrown site into a growing Ross-shire village's recreational hub have been given a massive boost with a £38,000 grant and the go-ahead to buy land for the project.

News that Strathpeffer Residents Association has won financial support from the Scottish Land Fund was greeted with delighted by determined local activists who have helped get the Strathpeffer project off the drawing board and into action.

Strathpeffer Residents Association has received £38,025 to purchase a four-acre site from Highland Council.

It aims to develop the overgrown site into a community park and amenity space with one dedicated play areas for toddlers and a second for under 12-year olds, with full disability access.

There are also plans for a community orchard and for food growing facilities.

Ann Sant with her twins Michael and Daniel at the site.
Ann Sant with her twins Michael and Daniel at the site.

David Genney, chairman of the Strathpeffer Residents' Association, said: "This Scottish Land Fund award is a huge boost to our ambition to develop Strathpeffer Community Park. The award will allow us to purchase the land and also pay for the vital fundraising and project management expertise we need to finance and deliver the various elements of the project.

"Following further fundraising the finished park will include, amongst other things, a children's play park for toddlers and older children, an all ability path network, a community orchard and a cycle pump track. The park will make Strathpeffer a more attractive and healthier place for locals and visitors alike."

He said: "Volunteer time and expertise is always a limiting factor in the delivery of big community projects. This is why we are so pleased to have secured, within the SLF grant, funding for project management and fundraising support.

"We have plenty of work to do this year, including concluding the land purchase, obtaining planning permission, and hopefully initiating the much-needed drainage works on the site. If all goes well with our local and national fundraising efforts we hope to deliver the path network, children's play park and a number of other elements identified by our community over the next two years.

"We have had tremendous support and input from our local community and look forward to taking the project forward with them.

Progress and updates can, of course, be followed on our Facebook page or by becoming a member of the Strathpeffer Residents' Association via our website."

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Land Fund has awarded grants to these worthwhile projects. Across Scotland, more and more communities are coming to the Fund with plans for land and buildings to benefit local people. The projects are diverse but what they have in common is the hard work and dedication of the volunteers involved – well done to all of them."

The recently revised business plancan be seen at www.strathpeffercommunitypark.org/key-documents.html and the current park plan at https://www.strathpeffercommunitypark.org/news-and-events



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