Local skate park comes to life thanks to Westfield Wind Farm Community Fund
In November 2015, the Kinglassie Action Group was awarded £13,000 from the Ventient Energy Westfield Wind Farm Community Fund to contribute to the building of a skatepark in the village.
The Westfield Wind Farm Community Fund (Kinglassie) supports community projects benefitting those living in the Kinglassie Community Council area. The fund is provided by Westfield Wind Farm Limited (WWFL), which is a subsidiary of Ventient Energy and also provides community funds to the neighbouring communities of Benarty and Cardenden. The fund opened in 2014.
Kinglassie Action Group (KAG) is committed to making improvements in the village of Kinglassie for the benefit of local residents. A long established wish was for a dedicated skate park that the young people particularly could use.
The wish to improve local recreational facilities was endorsed in a survey back in 2012 when residents expressed their desire to see some upgrading of Lochty Park, the main local recreational area.
Kinglassie Action Group consulted further on ideas for Lochty Park and also started planning some significant fund raising which resulted in £7,710 from local residents through various fundraising events and grants from a wide range of other sources including, Fife Environment Trust, a local bequest, Fife Council, and a large award of £71,613 from SportScotland. The final project cost was £191,975.
Fife Council Parks and Countryside Service acted as agent for KAG, overseeing commission and completion of the build, thereby reducing a significant burden on the over-stretched volunteer team.
The skate park and an adjacent ball court (collectively called the ‘Youth Area’) formed part of the wider plan to enhance Lochty Park for the benefit of the whole community. The ball court was designed to accommodate 5-a-side football, basketball and netball and the skate park was designed based on consultation with young people in the village, who organized a petition in support of the Youth Area.
In granting permission for the project, the planning department of Fife Council noted that:
The installation…..would be ancillary to the use of the existing public open space and would be an asset to the settlement of Kinglassie. The development would create an attractive, enhanced facility for a wide age range of people and would be compatible with the existing uses in the surrounding park.
What difference has the project made?
The intended beneficiaries are not just the 25% of the local population who are under 16 years old and who now have a dedicated outdoor space to develop their physical and creative skills in a safe and stimulating environment. The ball court is also used by adults.
Furthermore, Lochty Park continues to be used by most local residents at some point, whether it be for walking the dog, taking a stroll or engaging with or watching activity in the Youth Area. Meanwhile improved drainage allows greater use of the rest of the Park for events and gatherings. You can watch some of the skaters on YouTube here.