It is always good to hear of other public spaces being upgraded so the Friends of Cuthill Park were pleased for the neighbouring town of Tranent when they heard a new £100,000 children's play area will be built there.
Polson Park is the largest open space in the town but the existing play area has become run down and provides limited play opportunity. Recent surveys carried out in Tranent indicated that the play area was the single most popular reason for people to visit the park but improvements were required.
East Lothian Council appointed Jupiter Play and Leisure Ltd to design and install the new play area following a tender process. In order to ensure that the new play area meets the needs of children of different ages and abilities in Tranent Jupiter Play will consult extensively with local residents and community groups.
Cabinet member for community wellbeing, Cllr Ruth Currie, said:
"Polson Park is an important asset for Tranent residents but visitor numbers have dropped recently because it has become run down. A major restoration plan was prepared for the park but unfortunately failed to secure Heritage Lottery Funding in 2009. East Lothian Council remains committed to upgrading facilities within the park and I am delighted that the work for the new play area will shortly begin. I know from similar projects across the county that the play area will attract children, their friends and families to the park. It seems particularly appropriate that the park will continue to be enjoyed by new generations of local residents as we approach its centenary year."Polson Park was gifted to the people of Tranent back in 1911 by the trustees for the Polson family. The foundations of the park were laid out in the following years through the creation of formal walks, turfing and fencing. In 1925 the Tranent Miners welfare committee began the process of developing the park as 'a recreation ground providing facilities for outdoor exercise for the community'. The plans for the park dating from this time show that it was to be divided into four distinct sections - a games area, a children's play area, a formal garden and an open area for juvenile sports. This basic layout of the park remains today.
The existing play area equipment will be removed and the new equipment will be appropriate for pre-school children, early primary years and 10-14 year olds. Seats and litter bins will also be installed for picnic provision and the play area will be completed for opening by Easter 2011. In addition to the new play area East Lothian Council will also upgrade the path infrastructure of the park.
We hope this bodes well for our own plans to upgrade Cuthill Park.