At our monthly meeting in September, Colin Young came to give us a presentation of the McGavin Park Regeneration Project. You can read the minutes of the meeting in full here or under our ‘Minutes’ menu but here is an extract about the presentation:
Colin Young from ACES gave a very interesting and informative presentation about the plans for McGavin Park. There has been a great deal reported in the local press that is not accurate, not least that the park has been sold for £1. No monetary value has ever been put on the park. ACES are working very closely with NAC to secure an asset transfer, and this has now moved to stage 5 of 6.
An architect has drawn up plans, none of which have had a final agreement – the option to include a pond was never considered by the committee as there were far too many issues surrounding this. A social media survey undertaken by over 600 people proved that people did want change – something similar, but with better and more facilities. Only 1.1% of those who completed the survey thought the park should remain exactly as it is.
A community engagement opportunity was held during the Gala Day. One of the ideas that arose was that a ‘Free Running Area’ could be available for youngsters. The upgrade of the tennis courts and a secure dog area has also been considered in the latest plans.
The remit to the architect was ‘..this is the park, we want to re-establish the footprint, you can’t remove the paths, you can’t touch the trees and we want to keep the building..’
It is very important to maintain John McGavin’s legacy to the community. It is intended that this remain a public park for the people of Kilwinning, but it must be safe, therefore better lighting and security is planned. The park was set up by money bequeathed from John McGavin, but is now owned by NAC.
An attempt has been made to establish a sub-committee from ACES to concentrate on the project. Funding has not yet been fully secured and the costing is around 3.5 million pounds. The intention is to progress with more community engagement.
Colin displayed the latest plans which include the existing building with an extension; one path (which is at present unsafe) removed; four new paths; upgraded tennis courts; a better play area; a basketball court and an events area. The park will, on the whole, maintain the present look but with far better facilities.
Under the terms of the asset transfer, NAC would still own the park, with ACES securing a lease to manage and maintain it. A café is proposed, as is an indoor play area; these are avenues for generating revenue. There is no suggestion that the Archers be removed, but it is hoped that some alterations might be possible. Some sports areas are planned, but people will still be able to walk freely in the park as they do today – it is a great dog walking area and this will not change.
There have been concerns about car parking – this is in the plans, but does not use up a huge amount of space.
Once the plans are finalised and robust they will be presented to the community.