The Ness Play Park Project


Building owner/client:

Fife Council

Architect or lead designer:

The Play Practice, Scotland Ltd

Local Authority Area:


Nominating Body:

Torryburn & Newmills Community Council

Project Description

The main aim of the project was to improve upon the current play facilities at The Ness for the benefit of both local families and visitors. There had been major extensive improvements to the coastal pathway beginning at The Ness but the play area had not been upgraded for many years. The Play Park consisted of 3 cradle/baby swings which had an anticipated lifespan of 4 years and 3 spring mobiles all suited to ages 5 years and under. The slide was removed due to corrosion and generally the park area was dull, boring and not enjoyed by the local children. Main Objectives were: to provide play equipment suitable to a wider age range of children; to provide play equipment which was more exciting, stimulating and encourages greater levels of activity such as climbing, rocking, swinging and sliding; to enhance the aesthetics of the play park to compliment the works already carried out at The Ness; to encourage more outdoor play for families; to provide a place to meet and socialise; to raise awareness of local walkways, cycle routes and woodland all directly accessed from The Ness; to engender a sense of pride and respect in their community/environment for our younger citizens. A community consultation was carried out which involved meetings in the local village hall and also collaboration with local school children and parents who were instrumental in the design of the proposed park and choice of equipment. The Ness Play Park Project was formed as a sub group of Torryburn & Newmills Community Council. The group worked closely with Fife Council who co-ordinated and managed the works and The Play Practice who were involved in the design and range of play equipment to choose from. Our main funding came from Fife Environmental Trust, Fife Council and fundraising by the local community. The local community were instrumental in the design of the park, with the local school children, choosing the play equipment and also the fundraising required to bring the project to fruition. Fundraising events included: Family Nights, Coffee Mornings, Bag Packing Events, Sponsored cycle, Carol Singing, Car Boot Sale and a Pancake Day Event. The Project was extremely well supported by the local school and the children now get the benefit of using the park for some of their exercise sessions. The park has become a local hub with many families meeting after school and sharing picnics and fun times. There is a constant flow of visitors from out with the area too and the local ice-cream van certainly has benefited from the increased footfall at The Ness. Our official opening was on 20th June 2014 and it was a whole school event, when the children were able to come and play, have some refreshments and an ice-cream, whilst the Deputy Lord Provost declared the park Officially Open. The park has been a great success, meets all its’ objectives and more than anything the younger citizens in our community know how hard they worked to turn the plans into reality, that they are protective of their space and treat the area with respect & care and hopefully that will continue into their future.

Supporting Statement

Torryburn and Newmills Community Council nominate this project as it has had such a positive impact to our local villages & here at The Ness. The Ness is designated as a protected open space (draft Dunfermline &West Fife Local Plan). It is bounded by Torryburn Nature Reserve which is also a site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of the Firth of Forth designation as a Special Protection Area. Fife Councils Core Path Plan, Core Path 696 passes through The Ness as part of the Fife Coastal Path and forms part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network - Round the Forth Route. These are well used pathways by both local people and visitors. The Community Council, Mother & Toddlers Group and Torryburn Primary School Parent's Council had identified a need to develop a new play park for the villages, which would cater for the growth, needs and demands of children and young people in the villages now and as they grow up over the next decade. The project was a great example of a community working together to meet an end goal in terms of planning & fundraising. All age ranges in the community took part in the events, coffee mornings, family nights, raffles to name a few and enjoyed the process of working together. Everyone in the team had an opportunity to lead an event & share in it's success and all of us now benefit from having a great place to meet, after school, evenings & weekends. In villages where local amenities are declining, The park is a real asset to our community.