Castlebank’s rebirth reaches milestone

The opening of the new community hub at Castlebank Park which will be available for hire by members of the public
The opening of the new community hub at Castlebank Park which will be available for hire by members of the public

The dream of returning Lanark’s Castlebank Park to how it looked during its 1950’s ‘Golden Age’ has taken another step towards becoming reality.

The section of the park’s new Horticulural Centre which will act as a `Community Hub` was declared open by the Beechgrove Garden’s George Anderson in a ceremony which South Lanarkshire’s Provost Ian McAllan also attended.

Work converting what was an old, derelict sawmill in the park into the centre and hub began in spring of this year after funding came from the LEADER rural development agency and the Renewable Energy Fund.

Cash for kitting out the centre with furniture, office supplies and kitchen utensils came from the Leavenseat Trust.

The Castlebank Regeneration project is being managed by the Lanark Community Development Trust and its spokeswoman told the Gazette: “The end result is that the renovated building now includes a classroom, meeting space, kitchen and office. As well as hosting a range of horticultural training activities and events throughout the year, the rooms within the centre will also be available for community hire.”

The regeneration of the park, originally a private Victorian estate with world-renowned terraced gardens, was gifted to the people of Lanark in the early Fifties.

It was a favourite playground for generations of local children but gradually fell into disrepair, climaxing with the famous gardens being closed to the public because the terraces had become dangerously unstable. Now the park is well on the road to recovery with a dedicated team of volunteers contributing an estimated 4000 hours of unpaid work each year to transforming the park gardens.

The Trust has also been given a Big Lottery Grant to employ an Educational Gardener; applications to www.lanarktrust.co.uk by December 14 please.

The Carluke team celebrate their win with Deputy First Minister John Swinney

Carluke’s ‘visitors’ call in at awards by Ron Harris rharris@jpimedia.co.uk @cl_gazette A Carluke team has been judged the best in Scotland at spreading healthcare and education messages among local families. NHS Lanarkshire is cock-a-hoop that its Carluke Health Visiting and Speech and Language Therapy team picked up the Co-operation with Families category of the national Quality Improvement Awards. These Scottish health service ‘oscars’, according to a spokesman, “celebrate the collaborative work carried out by schools, health visitors, doctors, nurses, midwives, social workers, family services and anyone working to improve services for children across Scotland. Their work helps to strengthen services and ensure their availability to every child throughout all aspects of their lives, providing equal opportunity to thrive, learn and succeed.” The Carluke team was named winners of their catefgory for “developing an early intervention tool and pathway of care to improve speech, language and communication in children and young people across Lanarkshire.” The members were presented with their award by Deputy First Minister John Swinney who said: “The Awards demonstrate the commitment to improve the lives of children, young people and families. Thy are an opportunity to share methods that are having a positive impact on people across Scotland. It is a great honour to reward those who are passionate about making Scotland the best place to grow up.” Added Carole Wilkinson, Chair of Healthcare Improvement Scotland: “The QI awards provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the wide range of quality improvement work taking place across Scotland. These projects aim to make health and social care services the best they can be. “Congratulations to all winners and nominees for their dedication to making a real difference to the lives of children and families.” Carluke team celebrate their win with Deputy First Minister John Swinney