THE £500,000 upgrade of Arbroath’s West Links has been given the green light by councillors after more details on how refurbishment will take place were released.
As revealed in the Arbroath Herald last week, the seafront area will receive up to a half-a-million pound cash injection and council officials have now been authorised to start drawing detailed designs for the facelift.
The upgrade, which was agreed to at a full council meeting on Wednesday evening, will focus on the children’s play area, which has been deemed by the report as “unfit for purpose” and the new facility will draw attention to local features in the town.
Last year Councillor Peter Nield brought the ageing play equipment to attention and since then both the council and business in the West Links have been working together to try and improve the area.
Full and detailed plans for the upgrade are yet to be completed but concept plans suggest that the play area be moved to a more prominent location at the entrance to the Links and made into a play facility of “regional importance.”
The report by the director of neighbourhood services, Ron Ashton describes that the facility would have a play section for toddlers and young children as well equipment for older children and that play features would have a local setting.
Mr Ashton says: “Although the proposals still have to be worked up in detail, the project seeks to provide the development of a toddler and inclusive play area for children of all ages and abilities in one section and an adjacent adventure play area for older children.
“The use of coloured surfaces and wall units and of high towering play equipment aim to make the play area visible from the distance.
“The intention is to characterize the local setting by installing a climbing wall shaped to represent features of the Seaton cliffs.”
It is hoped that plans for the area can be drawn up within the next month and that they will go before the neighbourhood services committee in August.
And once it passes through all the necessary stages, work could start in late May 2012 and be completed by September of next year.
The latest funding brings the investment in Arbroath’s seafront up to nearly £1 million after £450,000 was also spent on the refurbishment of the Signal Tower Museum and Year of the Light.
And Mr Ashton added in his report that the upgrade to the West Links would not only improve play facilities but also the image of Arbroath.
He said: “The West Links is a popular and extensive recreation area which has been very successful in the past, providing a wide range of leisure facilities for the local community, visitors and tourists to Angus.
“The West Links Play Area enhancements will improve the quality of the play facilities, enhancing the image of the town and potentially increasing visitor numbers.”