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A popular park in the Falkirk Council area is set to receive a suite of environmental improvements thanks to a £240k funding boost.  

Herbertshire Castle Park, commonly known as the Gala Park, is a much loved greenspace for local residents of Denny and Dunipace, but the communities have long recognised the great potential of the park. The Community Green Initiative (CGI) and Communities Along the Carron Association (CATCA) have a long standing involvement in the care, maintenance and enhancement of the park, and, following a previous successful funding bid to LEADER, led on the development of plans to revitalise Herbertshire Castle Park with the development of a Masterplan of projects for the park.

The Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT), alongside Falkirk Council, is now supporting CGI to take the next steps and turn these plans into a reality, starting with a successful funding bid to deliver the first phase of enhancements. 

£180k of LEADER funding has now been secured, adding to £60k already raised, allowing an initial array of works including viewing platforms, tree and pollinator planting, signage and interpretation panels, an improved cycle route and wheelchair accessible parking, paths and facilities.

Donna Heaney, Chair of CGI, said: “The Gala Park is a fantastic resource, right on our doorstep, and we are absolutely delighted to receive this funding to develop better facilities in the park.  CGI have set up a steering group with local interested parties to take forward the Masterplan and this funding represents the first steps in an exciting journey for the park and we can’t wait to get started.”

Councillor Robert Spears, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at Falkirk Council, said: “Enabling Communities is one of the Council’s main purposes as we evolve into the Council of the Future. We are proud to have worked with Community Green Initiative and the Central Scotland Green Network Trust to secure the funding which will successfully enable the community of Denny and Dunipace to make the first phase of the improvements that they want to make to the key open space asset within their community at Herbertshire Castle Park. This award of funding from LEADER demonstrates very well the scale of what can be achieved when the Council and our communities work together.”

By driving forward the delivery of the Central Scotland Green Network initiative, CSGNT is striving for every household in central Scotland to have access to the benefits of high quality greenspaces.

Michael Ewart, Development Officer at CSGNT, said: “Providing access to attractive, safe and well maintained greenspaces not only helps to strengthen communities, it gives many benefits to locals such as quality of life improvements and better health and wellbeing.

“With the continued support of the community, Herbertshire Castle Park will become an important local asset for generations to come and we are excited to provide support to CGI and Falkirk Council to get the first phase of works underway.”

It is hoped this initial set of improvements will act as a ‘call to action’ for the local community and stakeholders to build momentum to capitalise on this success and seek to deliver future phases of the community’s plans for the area.

Work in the park is due to begin by early summer 2020.