As we say goodbye to May and welcome in June with some more wonderfully sunny weather, Saughton Park is indeed looking gorgeous right now. We are rapidly heading towards the start of the construction phase with the builders due to start work in July so read on to find out what we have been up to the last couple of months and what exciting things are just around the corner.
Tenders for the landscape package of works have been received from contractors and after a process of detailed evaluation we will be in a position to appoint the successful contractor in June with a view to them taking over the site in mid July.
The second tender for the buildings package of works for the new café, etc. will be issued soon with the successful contractor due to be appointed in early August.
In the next newsletter we will give you information about the areas of the park and gardens which will be closed and when. While this will be an inconvenience, time will fly and before you know it we’ll be making plans for the Grand Re-opening next summer. In the meantime, make sure you come along to the ‘Last Hurrah’ Garden Party that the FoSP will be hosting on 11 June between 12 noon and 5 p.m. - it will be a final farewell and celebration of the park before the construction works start.
£500,000 funding from sustrans!
We mentioned in the previous Newsletter that we submitted a grant application for Sustrans ‘Community Links’ funding in February which would allow us to extend the Active Travel Routes in Saughton Park. We are very pleased to now let you know that our bid was successful and we’ve been awarded £500,000.
This funding will provide a great opportunity to build on local active travel connections and the plans includes upgrades to the path network which will improve and extend cycling and pedestrian routes through the park, improve off-road linkages around the neighbourhood and provide a safe and attractive environment for people who wish to build up their stamina for walking or who wish to develop their cycling proficiency and confidence.
The work will include:
· Upgrades to the Main Drive (Sustrans Route) and the Central Path;
· New paths along the north, south and east boundaries;
· Improvements at the entrances to make them more pedestrian and cycle friendly;
· A new entrance to the north-east corner to provide a better link to Balgreen Tram Stop; and
· Lighting to the main paths, cycle racks, seating, art work and landscape improvements.
And even more funding succcess!
Hot off the press … we've just received the great news that Viridor Credit Environmental Company has awarded just under £50,000 to help make the playground inclusive and accessible for all children to enjoy. The Viridor grant will specifically go towards the creation of a trampoline zone which will include a wheelchair accessible trampoline as well as two individual trampolines.
Fund-raising is still ongoing as we are aiming to raise £300,000 in all! We’ve got another two bid applications outstanding and two more ready to go.
So, please keep everything crossed that we are successful in this next phase of fund-raising to make the Saughton Park Playground better!!
Saughton Park has reached the airwaves!
BBC Radio Scotland approached Pete a few weeks ago with an enquiry about the history of the park as they wanted to feature this as part of their new Tuesday lunchtime series called ‘Time Travels’. Louise Yeoman, the series producer, was following a vague lead that she had regarding the 1908 Scottish National Exhibition and a connection to
Senegal in West Africa
As many of our readers may remember from our last newsletter, there is indeed a fascinating historical connection between Edinburgh and Senegal, and it is one which serendipitously continues today through our friends from the Edinburgh Senegalese Society and one of their leading activists, local guy and accomplished musician, Samba Sene, who is featured in the programme.
Samba gives a fascinating account of his life in Edinburgh and how he discovered the Senegalese connection to Saughton Park.
Joe McGuigan and Lynn Corrigan of the Friends of Saughton Park History Group were also able to fill in some of the missing parts of this historical jigsaw and provided interesting insights into the human and social aspects of this amazing tale of two Edwardian era peoples.
You can listen to ‘Time Travels – Episode Two’ in full on BBC Website
If you are interested in joining the history group, researching the local area or have anything to share with them, then please contact:
Saughton Park History Group
Edinburgh Senegalese society (ESS)
The Edinburgh Senegalese Society (ESS) was founded by Senegalese nationals living in Edinburgh. They are a non- governmental organisation and they are not affiliated with any companies. The Society is run and currently funded solely by members donations.
To find out more see the ESS (Edinburgh Senegalese Society) pages on Facebook.