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Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) confirmed funding of over £3.7million to transform three Scottish parks. Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick, associated with Scottish sporting legends, Steve Hislop, Jimmie Guthrie, and Bill McLaren, received funding1 of £2.6million to create an ‘Outdoor Heart of Hawick’ while in the West of Scotland a grant of £585,000 will help restore Kelvingrove bandstand, and funding of £527,100 will see the Grand Fountain, in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens Park, brought back to its former glory.

HLF also announced initial support2 for a grant of £3.1million to revitalise one of Scotland’s most visited parks, Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“This has been a difficult time for parks with unrelenting pressure to manage budgets, so we are delighted to be able to bring some festive cheer. Our parks, and the historic features within them, are a wonderful legacy from our ancestors which are enjoyed by all ages and are often a community’s only green space in which to relax away from the pressures of daily life. That’s why HLF is committed to protecting these precious places.

“Through our Parks for People programme, we want to encourage more people through the park gates, forge new links with communities, and kick-start further local regeneration. We continue to champion parks, not just because they are an important part of our heritage, but because they make a huge difference to the quality of life for millions of Scots.”

Details on the grants below:

Wilton Lodge Park, Hawick - Confirmed HLF grant of £2,662,300

The second most visited attraction in the Scottish Borders, Wilton Lodge Park has played an important role in the social history of the area from the Common Riding ceremony, dating back to 1703, taking place there each year, to the more recent cultural associations with rugby and motorcycle racing.

The project will improve this beautiful park with heritage features such as the former bandstand recreated to its original design for events and celebrations; existing war memorials and fountains conserved; and a new play park, café and footbridge introduced. Proposals include using some of the walled garden for a community food growing project which will allow community groups and volunteers to carry out vocational and therapeutic works. Paths and tree management will reinstate lost views and interpretation, seating and signage will be improved. Email Mark Wilson, Scottish Borders Council for more information.

Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre - Confirmed HLF grant of £585,000

On the Buildings at Risk register since 2004, Kelvingrove Bandstand and Ampitheatre is now in a critical condition. Built in 1924, it played a central part in the cultural and civic life of Glasgow for 75 years, accommodating up to 7,000 people for outdoor entertainment and political rallies in its heyday. The only original surviving bandstand in Glasgow, it will be restored as a new performance venue for the city ready for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Running in tandem to the restoration will be a programme of activities to make the public aware of its place in Glasgow’s history, from collecting historical footage, to opportunities in traditional building skills, to a 1920’s inspired event. Email Miranda Lorraine, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust for more information.

Grand Fountain, Paisley - Confirmed HLF grant of £527,100

Dating from 1868 and gifted to the people of Paisley by Thomas Coats, The Grand Fountain is one of the most significant 19th century cast iron ornamental spray fountain in Scotland. Reaching 26 feet high, its ornate tiered fantasy of herons, dolphins and cherubs is a legacy of the area’s industry, the textile mills that financed it and the Sun Foundry that made it, as well as a reflection of the architectural fashions of the time. The signature feature of Fountain Gardens Park, Paisley’s oldest public garden, the fountain is currently fenced off for safety, its surfaces badly corroded and its decorative detail lost. This project will restore it to full working order and in its original colour scheme. Email Colin Orr, Renfrewshire Council 

Dean Castle Country Park, Kilmarnock - First-round pass2 of £3,129,300 including a Development Grant of £45,500

With visitor figures close to one million people a year, Dean Castle Country Park is highly valued by the local community. The former estate, which dates back to the late 12th or early 13th century, retains a 14th century castle as its focal point and includes 30 hectares of Ancient Woodland. Although an urban park with housing estates on three edges, it contains a huge array of biodiversity with 367 recorded species of plants, a great variety of nesting and migrating birds, amphibians, and mammals.

The project plans to rejuvenate both the built and natural heritage of the park: a new civic space will be created for outdoor theatre, music and crafts; the laundry houses will be restored to use as workshops and enterprise units: the designed landscape of the formal gardens will be restored; and a new bridge, 6km path and visitor centre created. Email Anneke Freel, East Ayrshire Council for more information.


Find out more from Shiona Mackay, Heritage Lottery Fund  on 01786 870638/07779 142890 or Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on tel: 0207 591 6036 Mobile: 07973 613 820