Cambulang Park has been given a £550,000 Heritage Lottery grant and matching funds from South Lanarkshire Council to help restore it to its former glory.
The park has a key place in the town’s history and is a huge part of the community and news of its facelift has been warmly welcomed.
Open, green spaces such as Cambuslang Park are especially important in an urban area where local residents can enjoy walking, exercising their dogs, playing ball, having picnics or just finding a quiet corner to relax.
“Cambuslang Park is just what the doctor ordered and, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £551,500, it is set to get a new spring in its step by next year.” said South Lanarkshire Council’s Economic Development Officer Kenny Lean.
“This is excellent news for the local community and especially for the Friends of Cambuslang Park, who work hard to organise a variety of wonderful fun and cultural events, together with helping to keep the park in a clean and user-friendly condition for everyone to enjoy everyday recreation and relaxation.” Cheryl-Anne Irons is one local resident for whom the park evokes fond memories of childhood days spent playing in and exploring in its lush environment. “Growing up in Cambuslang with this fantastic park on my doorstep was a wonderful experience for me as a child,” said Cheryl-Anne. “We had gala days with dancing, face paints and fancy costumes.
“Floats full of people dressed in all sorts of costumes and themes would make their way through the town centre. The whole community would follow them up into the park where the fun would last all day into the late summer evenings.
“With picnics every Saturday under big trees and looking for the witches’ cave and lots of stories and myths being told between my cousins and myself, the park was a real adventure playground for us as children. “It was full of hidden pockets in the Glen where we would spend hours playing treasure hunts. “It was the best, too, for us to go to roll our eggs at Easter.
“There was also a brilliant area for us to enjoy more energetic sporting activities with trampolines, tennis courts and a putting green. And the duck pond even had ducks in it in those days. The Bandstand Arena was also a fantastic area of the park where we would rehearse dance routines and put on shows for our families.
“As a child, the park was always very magical and it is such a shame that it has suffered as it has and that so many children are missing out in this great place right on their doorstep.” But all that is set to change and, as Kenny Lean said, “through the Lottery project, the park is to come to life again”. “The people of Cambuslang are proud of the Park’s heritage,” added Kenny.
“Although formally established as a park in 1913, the site of Cambuslang Park has been used for hundreds of years as a gathering space, beauty spot and, in the 1740s, a focus for a Christian revival movement. The only green space in the area, it remains extremely popular today.”
Covering an area of 11 hectares, Cambuslang Park has four very distinct areas – the formal area with the historic ‘Preaching Braes’, the Borgie Glen, a dramatic tree-lined ravine, the sunken arena and children’s play area and an area of open grassland, which is used for sports and recreation.
Each area will benefit from the restoration encouraging more people to use the park. The arena will be improved to allow more events to take place and the play area will be upgraded, with railings, paths and seating areas also being improved. The introduction of a full-time park keeper will help develop new activities and oversee people using the facility. Themed guided walks will increase awareness of the park’s rich history, while more organised sporting events will encourage young people to use its facilities.
Kenny continued: “The Friends of Cambuslang Park worked extremely hard, together with South Lanarkshire Council and Changing Places, to develop and submit the grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“This shows just what can be achieved when everyone works together as a partnership, as they have done in this case. Now the next stage of collaborative and community work begins.” The stage one £551,500 Heritage Lottery Fund grant will be added to a £382,000 capital investment from South Lanarkshire Council and £140,000 revenue investment in the future.
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant is reliant on additional stage two information being submitted.
A stage one pass means money has been earmarked by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project. Competition for grant at this stage is tough and while a stage one pass doesn’t guarantee funding, it is an indication of positive support and money for the project is set aside. A stage two application must then be submitted to develop the application and secure a full grant.
The investment, which should begin in mid-2010, is set to develop the significant local history, increase events and local participation in the park.