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Flagship park plans back on track

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Flagship park plans back on track

HOPES are high that redevelopment work can soon get cracking at McJerrow Park in Lockerbie.

The community council’s plans for the flagship space have been delayed by covid but they are now ready to get to work.

And chairwoman Jan Andrews and treasurer Helen Haggart met with a new architect last week to get the ball rolling.

They are keen to include previously discussed ideas, including an amphitheatre, band/stage area, zipline, toilets and memorial cairn.

Jan said: “We met at the park for a walkabout and to discuss ideas. We talked about all the things we talked about before.

“We will hopefully get the new plans asap because we really want to start development as quickly as possible, because of covid we have been delayed.”

The revamp will be funded by a £500,000 donation from the now defunct Lockerbie Trust.

And the group wants to involve as many locals as possible in the project and Jan has mooted the idea of a meeting involving local businesses ‘to see who could do what’, adding: “Local people working on it is the best option because they genuinely care about what it’s going to look like.”

Helen added: “If we can use as many locals as possible they will take ownership and have a bit of pride in it.”

And she enquired if they can roll out the scheme without too much input from Dumfries and Galloway Council, saying: “We will be nine months down the line and be no further forward than we are now because of council faffing.

“We want to do it right but do not want the council to block us and that’s what it feels like they do all the time.”

However, Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson urged them to keep the local authority in the loop.

He said: “The park is Common Good so it’s under the custodianship of Dumfries and Galloway Council. If you are going to do work you have to still ask landowner, even though they are acting on your behalf.

“I still say the best way to go forward is to make sure you’re doing the right thing and tell the council there’s a plan being delivered for this and ask how can they support the community to develop this.”

Meanwhile, member Lucie Dudgeon called for CCTV to be part of the new look park.

She said: “The community are asking what’s happening in park. CCTV is brought up to me regularly.”

Agreeing, Karen Agnew said: “That desperately needs to happen if we are developing more stuff and bringing more people in.”

It was also agreed at the meeting to ask the community safety team and police to carry out patrols at the park again after reports of more damage to some of the play equipment.

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