A new £3.7 million public park on the site of the former steelworks at Ravenscraig has welcomed its first visitors
Its opening weekend saw hundreds of visitors enjoy the park’s range of activities and the summer sunshine!
Today (Tuesday 27 July), North Lanarkshire Council Depute Leader, Councillor Paul Kelly, joined local elected members on a tour of the new facility and officially announced the names of the park and the play area – The Craig and Mini Craig.
Local school children and community groups chose the names which recognise the area’s history.
Within the play area are climbing walls, swings, trampolines, bouncing discs, a climbing tower, zip slide, talk tubes, balance beams and posts, incorporating accessible facilities for children and young people with mobility issues.
The park will soon also include a sensory garden, visitor hub with a disabled toilet and a cafe, events area, a network of walking and cycling routes, an outdoor gym and a feature path on the line of the historic steel strip mill.
“This is a wonderful new park for everyone to enjoy,” said Councillor Kelly. “It’s great to see so many families coming along and having fun in the outdoors. This is just another exciting chapter in the development of Ravenscraig, which employed thousands of people in its heyday. There’s been a great deal of housing, leisure, hospitality, education and commercial developments on the site and there’s more to come. In the coming years new schools will be built, a new road network created and even more employment opportunities.
“Accessible play equipment means children with mobility issues can enjoy the park, and local groups will be able to meet and take part in activities in the events area.
“In its first year alone, the Craig welcomed hundreds of visitors and I’m sure it will continue to be a very popular attraction for people across North Lanarkshire for years to come.”
A multi sports pitch and wildflower area will open later in the summer, as more time is needed to allow the grass and planting to develop.
Gavin Broomfield, Contracts Manager, VHE, added: "VHE Construction are delighted to have assisted North Lanarkshire Council in addressing the legacy issues on this area of the Ravenscraig site, and restoring it to beneficial use for the local community."
Stuart Dillett, Managing Director at idverde Ltd, the landscaping contractor who delivered the construction of the park, said: "It's great that the park has been able to be opened to the public for the summer months.
"While the impact of Covid disrupted the opportunity to maximise community involvement during construction, there will be plenty more opportunities for local community groups, schools and New College Lanarkshire to be involved in the ongoing maintenance of the park - in particular encouraging biodiversity and working together to ensure the park serves future community uses."
Visitors the new park are advised to follow the current covid-19 safety measures. Funding for the park project has come from the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund.