A NEW and improved play park in Saltcoats has reopened to the public.

The project for the upgraded Winton Circus swing park on Saltcoats shorefront commenced almost exactly one year ago.

Now, with new equipment fully installed, the park has opened once again after safety certification was granted and the fencing around the area was removed.

The idea was the brainchild of Donna McGregor who went on, with a group of friends, to form the Saltcoats Active Lifestyle Team (SALT).

Following an initial phone call to Saltcoats and Stevenston SNP councillor Jean McClung a little more than a year ago, and subsequent hours of hard work and determination by the SALT members, Saltcoats now has a brand new play facility of which the town can be proud of.

Councillor McClung told the Herald: “From the moment Donna contacted me I was bowled over by her enthusiasm.

"Following that initial phone call, I immediately set about making enquiries as to the possibility of a community group working in partnership with NAC to bring about a total overhaul of the long-neglected play area at Winton Circus.

"Such a group was duly formed and formally constituted, and the rest is history! All members of that group have worked tirelessly in their respective roles over the last year to achieve their aim.

"Each one has brought his or her own expertise to the table and the result is now there for all to see. I am told that an achievement like this, over such a relatively short period of time, is remarkable!"

The SALT group certainly had to put the graft in to achieve their aim in such a short space of time, organising several fund-raising events and initiatives to ensure the work could go ahead as soon as possible.

From sponsored walks, bingo nights and their ongoing 'bonus ball' project, every small contribution has made this possible. Many local businesses, alongside countless members of the public, have all played their part.

Cllr McClung added: "I would personally like to thank each and every person who has contributed, not only in monetary terms, but also with their encouragement and morale-boosting support, to this wonderful new asset for our town.

"This has been a true community effort which I hope will bring visitors to the town as well as provide a ‘happy place’ for residents of the area.

"My own sincere thanks go also to all of the council officers and officials who have worked with us. The support from Streetscene has been outstanding, as has been the contribution of members of the Connected Communities team. Enthusiasm is obviously contagious!"

The park itself features plenty of equipment for a great, fun day out at the seaside. From its showpiece pirate ship slide, to a completely accessible basket swing suitable for children with additional needs. There is even something for the adults with fitness equipment also installed, alongside new picnic benches for the inevitable rest which will be needed!

According to Cllr McClung, it won't be long till locals can have their first proper look at the new park either.

She commented: "A grand opening event will be taking place on Saturday, September 24, which will include a myriad of opportunities for children and adults to have fun.

"Rumour has it that there will be a visit from at least one famous pirate, as well as a renowned figure from Saltcoats’ past. More information will be divulged nearer the time, so put the date in your diary and watch this space!”