The front green in one of Argyll’s main towns will be closed for the rest of the year as it undergoes a £1.5million facelift.
Hawthorn Heights contractors will be on site at Lochgilphead Front Green today until the job is completed in January.
The flooding-prone grassy area often hit by high tides is to be drained and landscaped.
A new play park with 10 pieces of equipment will be installed, along with a new public square where community events can take place.
More seating will also be provided, plus walking and cycling facilities.
Hawthorn Heights has completed similar projects for Argyll and Bute Council in Helensburgh.
‘A fantastic space’
Councillor Alastair Redman said: “The front green is a fantastic space and it has been a long-term community aspiration to see it used more for community events and recreation.
“We have listened to public feedback and are pleased that work can now start to create new facilities, for generations of people to enjoy.
“We are committed to improving our town centres across Argyll and Bute with the aim of making places more attractive to live, work and visit.
“We are already seeing the benefits of town centre regeneration including the recent works to improve access in Lochgilphead.”
The project involves substantial engineering that includes removing soil from a large part of the site, installing a new seating wall and new drainage, which will help to make the area more usable.
Final stage of the project
Due to the scale and nature of the works, it is necessary to close the front green until January 2022.
The local authority says this is the only safe way to deliver the works while protecting its contractors and the public.
During construction works, Lochgilphead’s bus shelter will remain unaffected and services will operate as normal. The public toilets will remain open.
Alternative play park facilities can be found at High Bank Park, Meadows Crescent, Burns Brae and Ross Crescent in the town.
This work is the final stage in a project which has received substantial input from the local community through public consultation events held during 2019.
Investment to support local businesses
The front green project follows more than £500,000 of investment to Colchester Square and Argyll Street in Lochgilphead to help support local businesses.
The completed works in the town centre include widening of footpaths, improved pavement surfaces for wheelchair users and prams, and new road crossings.
A planning application is due to be submitted on design proposals to improve the streetscape in the neighbouring village of Ardrishaig.
An update on all of the proposals is due to be reported to the council’s Mid Argyll Kintyre and the Islands area committee meeting on Wednesday.