Ambitious Strathclyde Park plan provides bridge to the future

A far-reaching ten-year plan aims to make Strathclyde Park a major visitor attraction and will also include proposals for a residential outdoor centre.

The ten-year Parks for the Future programme was approved by North Lanarkshire Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee last week.

And it has emerged that the new amenity could be viewed as a possible alternative to the Kilbowie Outdoor Centre which is controversially being bulldozed despite protests from schoolchildren and parents.

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Other flagship plans include the creation of a lagoon area that is safe for paddling with a bridge crossing the loch .

The council also aims to investigate the park’s potential for producing renewable electricity and heat including solar panels and a water source heat pump.

A new gateway to the park will be created at Bellshill, where a bike pump track will be built.

In addition, a heritage centre will be developed with trails around the park, alongside a focus on public art throughout the park as well as improvements to wildlife habitats and nature conservation.

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The council also plans to improve travel connections to the park from neighbouring communities, with less vehicle traffic and more opportunities for active travel with walking and cycling routes.

It is hoped that the park will be seen as a destination where health and wellbeing can be maximised by visitors from across Central Scotland and beyond.

However, it should be stressed that the plans have still to be given the green light but timescales have now been provided.

Planning permission will be sought in 2021 for the overall park masterplan, with access improvements planned for early 2021 and the first art trails in place by the end of the year. The proposed cycling hub is planned for 2023.

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Robert Steenson, Executive Director of Enterprise and Communities said: “Our ambition is to change the way we use our parks and greenspaces, from passive leisure use to active community hubs that increase the many benefits of these valuable community assets,

“The coronavirus pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of greenspace for health and wellbeing and as a significant preventative health resource.

“Our plans will put country parks at the heart of our communities, with improved active travel routes allowing more people to visit and make them attractive destinations for families, walkers and cyclists, sports enthusiasts, schools and groups.

“Public parks are free for everyone, and we want provide something for everyone who visits.”

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