Castle Douglas’ new Inclusive Play Park was officially opened on Friday 15 September at a small ceremony held at Carlingwark Park.
In 2018, Dumfries and Galloway Council prioritised £500,000 of investment to assist in the development of four inclusive play parks in Newton Stewart, Kirkconnel, Lockerbie and Castle Douglas. The main aim of an inclusive park is to provide facilities that are accessible to all – enabling all park users, through the design of the space, to play together safely.
The council provided funding of £125,000 towards the inclusive park and has supported Castle Douglas Development Forum (CDDF), who has been the principal partners in the project.
CDDF and Dumfries and Galloway Council worked together to carry out consultation with the community to establish the most suitable location for the park and what elements were needed to make it accessible to all. Information gathered during the consultation was used to produce the final project design.
Now that the play park has been completed, there will soon be a Changing Places Toilet located in Carlingwark Park. This is being purchased in conjunction with CDDF. This is currently being tendered for and we hope to have this installed in 2023. This, with plans to improve the path network within the park, will make a huge difference to the lives of people with enhanced needs.
Ian Blake, Chair of the Council’s Communities Committee said: “This project has been a great example of our Council and community partners working together to achieve a project which brings huge benefits to the local area and most importantly to our children and young people. The hard work and determination of CDDF is to be commended and the addition of fully accessible toilet facilities in Castle Douglas will make such a difference to the lives of many”.
Jackie McCamon, Vice Chair of Communities Committee said: “This is a great facility for Castle Douglas and has been a huge team effort. It is also fantastic that work is continuing to develop a Changing Places Toilet and improved path network to improve accessibility to this fantastic facility”.
Carolyn Yates, Chair of Castle Douglas Development Forum said: “It is wonderful to see this play park being used, particularly by children who require accessible equipment. Behind a project like this, there is a strong community and a strong partnership with the council. There are so many people to thank, in particular the volunteers who got this initiative started about five years ago, Tracy Walker, Holly Nelson and Gillian Warden, and the council officers who worked tirelessly to keep up the momentum – despite a pandemic intervening. Thanks also to the Allsopps for their sponsored activities, Wave Blues band for a fundraising gig and the people of the town who made private donations and who supported our fund raising events.
“We are grateful to the Holywood Trust for its generous donation that, in addition to supporting this playground, will also contribute to accessible pathways, fitness equipment and a Changing Places toilet in the park. Other organisations that have provided financial support include our local Co-op, Barfill Charitable Trust, The Galloway Association of Scotland, The Rotary Club of Castle Douglas and the town’s Common Good Fund. Without all this support and teamwork, projects like this that improve our town simply couldn’t happen.”
The Inclusive Play Park at Carlingwark Park has been installed by PROLUDIC (Scotland) LTD.