New public park in Motherwell on former site of Ravenscraig is big hit with youngsters

A new £3.7 million public park on the site of the former steelworks at Ravenscraig has welcomed its first visitors.

The Craig

Its opening weekend saw hundreds of visitors enjoy the park’s range of activities in a shining example of the hottest weather experienced in recent years.

And shortly after we went to press last Tuesday, North Lanarkshire Council Depute Leader, Councillor Paul Kelly, joined local elected members on a tour of the new facility and officially announced the names of the park and the play area – The Craig and Mini Craig.

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Local school children and community groups chose the names which recognise the area’s history.

Within the play area are climbing walls, swings, trampolines, bouncing discs, a climbing tower, zip slide, talk tubes, balance beams and posts, incorporating accessible facilities for children and young people with mobility issues.

The park also includes a sensory garden, visitor hub with a disabled toilet and a cafe, events area, a network of walking and cycling routes, an outdoor gym and a feature path on the line of the historic steel strip mill.

Councillor Kelly said: “It’s great to see so many families coming along and having fun in the outdoors. This is just another exciting chapter in the development of Ravenscraig, which employed thousands of people in its heyday.

"There’s been a great deal of housing, leisure, hospitality, education and commercial developments on the site and there’s more to come.In the coming years new schools will be built, a new road network created and even more employment opportunities.

“Accessible play equipment means children with mobility issues can enjoy the park, and local groups will be able to meet and take part in activities in the events area.

A multi sports pitch and wildflower area will open later in the summer, as more time is needed to allow the grass and planting to develop.

Stuart Dillett, Managing Director at idverde Ltd, the park’s landscaping contractor said: "We are delighted that the park has been able to be opened to the public for the summer months.”

The project was funded by the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land fund – and will be the focus for upcoming community projects.