£50k funding boost for Aden play facilities

How the new play facilities at the popular Mintlaw park will look when complete.
How the new play facilities at the popular Mintlaw park will look when complete.

Children, young people and families visiting Aden Country Park in Mintlaw are set to get a new and improved play area thanks to a funding windfall.

Funding body WREN has awarded £49,490 from its FCC Scottish Action Fund to the park to buy a range of new play equipment aimed at developing an accessible play area for children of all ages and abilities.

The funding is part of a wider redevelopment of the park.

Last year the Lottery Heritage Fund made a significant investment in Aden’s restoration and redevelopment programme. Various elements of the programme required funding from other partners to allow them to progress and the children’s play park is one such area.

Community consultation carried over the past few years helped to identify the need to improve the play amenity in Aden.

This consultation, and supporting research, helped the Aberdeenshire Council Aden Project Team to submit their application for WREN funding support.

Research shows that play is crucial to good health and development throughout childhood, contributing to social, physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional and psychological development.

But they are more than that, playgrounds also provide a focal point for the local community to meet and socialise, along with providing a safe environment designed to enhance opportunities for a child to play alone, with a parent or career, or with other children.

Cllr Norman Smith, chair of the Buchan Area Committee said: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of Aberdeenshire. It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to our children’s play area taking shape over the next few months.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.

WREN grant manager, Sophie Cade says: “We are always pleased to support community play projects; the popularity of Aden Country Park means the new play developments will benefit not only local families but those visiting from further afield too,”

The ambition is to have the new play area ready to use by August this year. The total cost of the children’s play area project is £299,414. This includes the purchasing and installation of play equipment, along with the various landscaping of the site.

The development of the play amenity has only been made possible through the funding support from WREN, along with additional Scottish Landfill Communities Fund bodies support, including Viridor Credits (£49,974) and EB Scotland (£25,000).

Additional contributions include funding support from the Friends of Aden, Buchan Development Initiative (BDI), MACBI Community Hub, Macduff Shellfish, Claymore Homes, Hamish Watson, Bancon Homes, Mintlaw Vet Surgery, David Barron and Colaren Homes,