Funding approved for new play facilities in Aden Country Park

Children, young people and families visiting Aden Country Park, in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, are set to get a new and improved play area thanks to a significant grant from funding body WREN.

£49,490, awarded by WREN’s FCC Scottish Action Fund, will be used to buy a range of new children’s play equipment aimed at developing an accessible play area for children of all ages and abilities. 

The funding is part of a wider redevelopment of the park. Last year, the Heritage Lottery Fund made a significant investment in the park restoration and redevelopment programme. Various elements of the programme required funding from other partners to allow them to progress, and the children’s play area is one such area.

Community consultation carried over the past few years helped to identify the need to improve the children’s play amenity in Aden. This consultation, and supporting research, helped the Aberdeenshire Council Aden Project Team to submit their application for WREN funding support. 

Research shows that play is crucial to good health and development throughout childhood, contributing to social, physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional and psychological development. But they are more than that, playgrounds also provide a focal point for the local community to meet and socialise, along with providing a safe environment designed to enhance opportunities for a child to play alone, with a parent or career, or with other children.

Cllr Norman Smith, chair of the Buchan Area Committee said: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of Aberdeenshire. It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to our children’s play area taking shape over the next few months.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and
heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.

WREN Grant Manager, Sophie Cade says: “We are always pleased to support community play projects; the popularity of Aden Country Park means the new play developments will benefit not only local families but those visiting from further afield too,”

The ambition is to have the new play area ready to use by August 2019.

The total cost of the children’s play area project is £299,414. This includes the purchasing and installation of play equipment, along with the various landscaping of the site.

The development of the play amenity has only been made possible through the funding support from WREN, along with additional Scottish Landfill Communities Fund bodies support, including Viridor Credits (£49,974) and EB Scotland (£25,000).

Additional contributions include funding support from the Friends of Aden, Buchan Development Initiative (BDI), Café at Aden, MACBI Community Hub, Macduff Shellfish, Claymore Homes, Hamish Watson, Bancon Homes, Mintlaw Vet Surgery, David Barron, Colaren Homes, developer obligations, and Aberdeenshire Council itself.

The children’s play area project forms part of the wider £2.13 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Aden restoration and redevelopment project. The ambition of the project is to enhance, promote, and conserve Aden’s rich cultural, architectural, archaeological and natural heritage, creating a sustainable, high-quality visitor destination in rural Aberdeenshire for present and future generations to enjoy.