Lease agreed to allow inclusive play park to begin in Dumfries

A LEASE of up to 20 years was agreed on Thursday to create an accessible and inclusive play park in Dumfries.

The charity Include Us was given the lease for Catherine Street Play Park to help improve the wellbeing of disabled children and young people with the creation of an accessible and inclusive space to provide opportunities for fun and friendship.

Dumfries and Galloway Council members were told that the park’s manager would provide work experience opportunities for secondary school, college students and would provide placements for interns through working with colleagues in Project Search and Project Scotland.

Children of all ages and abilities will also benefit from the opportunity to learn about nature by getting involved with the community garden and activities put on in the park. An exact timeline for the build will now be finalised.

The policy and resources committee was also be told that the proposal will provide volunteering opportunities: including older volunteers with skills and experience to act as mentors to younger volunteers and work directly with children and young people; and young volunteers with additional needs receiving work experience and volunteering to improve their chances for employment.

In addition to the initial £150,000 Inclusive Play development fund identified by Dumfries and Galloway Council towards the Catherine Street project, Include Us have secured over £250,000 in capital and revenue grants. The lease has been set at £1 per year.

At the same meeting, councillors agreed to transfer the former St Peter’s RC Primary in Dalbeattie to Birchvale Theatre Group for £1.

The group will now develop the building as a community arts facility and community hub, incorporating the theatre group, childcare facilities (Dalbeattie Playgroup), and facilities for Dalbeattie Scout Group.