New look for town park

Gala Queen Freya Newall and Herald Declan Roose officially open the new-look Memorial Park, Loanhead
Gala Queen Freya Newall and Herald Declan Roose officially open the new-look Memorial Park, Loanhead

The work to improve one of Midlothian’s most historic parks was recognised at a special community ceremony recently.

Loanhead and District Community Council chairman Pat Kenny joined, among others, the cabinet member for parks Councillor Derek Rosie, Gala Queen Freya Newall, Alan McLaren of Loanhead Community Development Association and Jim McKay from the funding body, WREN at Loanhead Memorial Park.

More than £154,000 has been spent to improve landscaping, install new paths and upgrade the play area.

Half the cost of the work was met by WREN, the landfill tax charity. Developer contributions accounted for £21,000 and Midlothian Council spent £60,000.

Midlothian councillor Derek Rosie, the cabinet member for parks, said: “Loanhead Community Development Association and the community council supported the council in obtaining funding for the park refurbishment works to benefit both people living in and around Loanhead as well as visitors to the area.”

WREN grant manager, Sophie Cade, said: “We are delighted to support the transformation of Loanhead Memorial park into a wonderful community space through our FCC Community Action Fund.

“WREN is always happy to consider funding projects that make a difference to local communities and we hope everyone get lots of enjoyment from the park this summer.”

Alan McLaren, chairman of Loanhead Community Development Association, said: “I’m delighted to see this project finally come to fruition.

“The historic Memorial Park is Loanhead’s most important green space and the programme of works has considerably enhanced the park both for everyday users and the large community events which are staged there.”

The park, on The Loan, was originally laid out as a memorial following the First World War.

Also pictured at the opening are Liz Alexander and Ross Perfect, both of Loanhead Gala Committee; Alan McLaren and Steven Clabby, both of Loanhead Community Development Association, Councillor Derek Rosie; Jim McKay, WREN; Pat Kenny, Loanhead Community Council; and Peter Frame, of Loanhead Miners’ Youth Football.