One of the long held dreams of Friends of Zetland Park – along with the park’s regeneration – was to have different local organisations and groups fly their flags in the park.
Cunningham House care home, located near the park in Abbotsgrange Road, provides specialist care for people with dementia. Residents at the facility worked together with an artist to come up with a design for a flag to celebrate their links with Zetland Park and the result of the collaboration was plain for all to see when it was raised aloft during a ceremony last weekend.
Friends of Zetland Park hope this flag raising – which also marks the end of the park regeneration project’s development phase – will be the first of many.
The project is working to secure £900,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to begin the next stage of its regeneration next year.
Back in December 2017 the plan to regenerate the park received a £127,300 boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund – as it was known then – and over £60,000 raised by various groups and individuals.
The park’s updated regeneration masterplan had 681 responses when it went out to public consultation.
“To get that level of response has been absolutely fantastic,” said project manager Allana Hughes earlier this year. “This is a strong project which sits right at the heart of community – there are lots of opportunities for different people within the community to get involved.
“You’re not going to please all the people all the time, but we have taken the general themes of what people were concerned about and have been able to address these.”
There are plans for a permanent stage in the park that can be used all year round – not just for Grangemouth Children’s Day – as a seating area, outdoor classroom or performance space.
The park’s current stage is provided by Falkirk Council every year to enable the town’s annual Children’s Day to go ahead, but financial pressures mean this may not be possible in the future, so a permanent stage would be a welcome addition.
The new masterplan will not see the park’s fountain fully restored to working order or filled with water due to the fact it would mean removing original parts of the historical fountain’s structure.
Other key features of the long awaited refurbishment of the historic park include new landscaping proposals around the war memorial, a naturalised pond on the site of the old paddling pool, a new play area, a new performance space, heritage interpretation features and a relocated kiosk and toilets.
Residents also backed plans to improve the rose garden in the park, but not to turn it into “an ornamental tribute to the petrochemical process”.
A group, which includes volunteers from Grangemouth Horticultural Society, are currently working together to design a revamped rose garden.