Party in Paddy as new park opens officially

Pictured are group members, Derek Soutar, Isobel Ross from Forfar Community Council, Councillor Lynne Devine.
Pictured are group members, Derek Soutar, Isobel Ross from Forfar Community Council, Councillor Lynne Devine.

A three-year wait to provide Padanaram with a safe and up-to-date play park reached its conclusion at the weekend with the official opening of the new facility.

And the park is unique in the Angus area as it is the first in the county to have been provided with funding from The Big Lottery Fund.

It was the first big project dealt with by the Paddy Action Group, which was formed by the village’s residents in 2012 and members were delighted on Saturday to see their hard work reach fruition.

While the application process for the £46,000 grant took two years to complete, and was supplemented by local fund-raising and donations, the project took another year for its construction phase.

Villagers gathered on Saturday for the official opening ceremony which was performed by former Dundee and Aberdeen FC goal keeper Derek Soutar, who was the guest of honour.

Eleanor Feltham, action group member, said: “The group was set up in 2012 as a mix of established and new residents and we were keen to do something about the park.

“We saw that Big Lottery Fund was giving funding for new play pars and residents said that the existing park had been up for about 20 or 30 years and had also been community funded.

“Health and safety rules had changed and there were only two or three pieces of equipment that hadn’t had their day, so we went for it an put in an application for £46,000.”

The group submitted their application to the fund’s Community Spaces Scotland programme, which provided grants of between £10,000 and £250,000 to support communities to become more involved in and to take responsibility for communal spaces and places.

It also aimed to bring communities together while making them healthier and happier and applications were judged on the critera of improving the appearance, accessibility and sustainability of local spaces, places and buildings.

The Padanaram group’s application stressed the health and social benefits of access to a safe and modern play park which is also suitable for disaled children.

Eleanor continued: “There were 200 applications and those that were successful in the first round were put through to the next round so their project could be looked at in more detail and 50 were successful in the second round.

“So we now have all this nice new equipment and new safety surfacing, and we were also supported by Angus Council which contributed some funds for architects’ fees. We also received support for Saturday from Asda through their healthy eating scheme which is all part of helping to get children active and healthy and it also encourages learning by play which extends a child’s abilities and improves social skills.

“We’ve already had visitors from outside the village so word must be getting round.”